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Senator Sammy Leshore speaks on his comeback, 2000 attempt on his life

By Steve Mkawale | May 12th 2021
Former Senator Sammy Leshore says he was initially meant to be nominated Senator but was short changed. 

Former Samburu senator Sammy Leshore who replaced Isaac Mwaura as nominated Senator says the position was initially meant for him.

Leshore has told The Standard that he was meant to take the position but unfortunately he was short-changed by some political forces. However, he is grateful to the Jubilee Party leadership for granting him a chance. He says when the decision to pick Isaac Mwaura was made, he accepted and moved on.

Speaking to The Standard from his Malindi home, Leshore said he was busy going about his business when the news of his nomination reached him.

Dirty politics

"I'm in Malindi minding my own business, I thank God and President Uhuru Kenyatta for the nomination. That position was meant to be mine but some senior politician in Jubilee decided to play 'dirty politics,” he said.

Leshore was gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as a nominated Senator on Tuesday May 11. 

He returns to Senate to represent persons with disabilities, a position formerly held by Mwaura who was expelled from the Jubilee party on grounds of disloyalty that saw him eventually lose his nomination. 

His removal was formally communicated by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka prompting IEBC to gazette his replacement. This, despite the fact that Mwaura had obtained a court order barring the Senate from acting on his removal until a petition at the High Court is heard and determined.

Attempted assassination 

Following the nomination, Leshore retunrs to active politics after he losing his Senatorial seat to Sen (Dr.) Ltumbesi Lelegwe in the 2017 general election.

Leshore made headlines in 2000 when together with his close friend Mohamed Shidiye, survived an attempted assassination. Leshore, then Samburu West MP and Kanu Chief Whip in the National Assembly, sustained severe injuries that left him paralysed and bedridden for a year.

In an interview with KTN’s Untold Story, Leshore said they had just had dinner with the former Vice President, the late Prof. George Saitoti at his home where they discussed politics. Prof Saitoti died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, 10 June 2012 in his Ngong Constituency.

“At that time there was a lot of under-table tensions, my friend Shidiye and I knew that we had stepped on the toes of some political bigwigs because, in parliament, we would support even bills sponsored by the opposition as long as they favoured the ordinary citizen,” he said.

Leshore says he was loyal to the ruling party then and the country but had initiated serious reforms in parliament that were not taken lightly by some quarters.

After dinner, the duo headed to their Imara homes via Jogoo Road not knowing what awaited them.

Hospitalised for one year

“I was driving my brand new Prado. As we neared the Donholm roundabout, we were hit by a Nissan on the rear side, after a small tussle with the matatu crew, we sat in the car as we waited for the police. Within that time, our attackers came and started shooting at us,” Leshore remembered.

Speaker Francis ole Kaparo sneaked them out of the country in a chartered plane from Wilson airport as the country came to terms with the attack.

Leshore and Shidiye would then stay in a London hospital for a year as they received specialized medical care.

Working career

The Senator attended Maralal High School between 1969 and 1997 and later worked as an untrained teacher for one year before joining the then Kenya Police Service where he served until 1980.

He also served in the National Intelligence Service before he was appointed to represent Kenya in Italy as an Affairs Attaché between 1984and 1988.

Leshore joined active politics as a member of the independence party KANU, which he used to contest in four parliamentary general elections.

He was elected MP for Samburu West where he served for three consecutive terms until 2007 when he lost to Raphael Letimalo of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Born in 1954, Leshore made history in the 2013 general elections when he was among the first few Kenyans with a disability to be elected to the Senate. He won the seat on a United Republican Party (URP) ticket.

In 2017, Leshore, who has since returned to KANU, lost the senatorial seat to Dr. Lelegwe who won the seat with 32,256 votes against Leshore's 19,022.

Leshore’s nomination to the senate cements the good political relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and KANU national chairman Gideon Moi.

Additional reporting by Patrick Vidija



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