Kenyan politics:Losers and the pain of 2013

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Key political leaders became casualties of the reforms they pushed for ahead of the General Election held in March.

The introduction of two houses of Parliament — the National Assembly and the Senate — increased the number of seats available to politicians but that did not stop seasoned hands from falling by the way side.

The first casualties were Cord leaders Raila Odinga and his running mate, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, who were locked out of political office by the 2010 Constitution which stipulated that presidential candidates could not vie for any other political seat.

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Also locked out by the clause was Amani Coalition leader Musalia Mudavadi, former Cabinet minister Martha Karua and former assistant minister Peter Kenneth, all of whom vied for the presidency but lost to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, Mr William Ruto.

RAILA ODINGA

Mr Odinga, who became Prime Minister after the disputed 2007 presidential election, ran the Cord campaign with high hopes of becoming Kenya’s fourth president after sharing power with President Mwai Kibaki from 2008 to 2013.

In the hotly contested March 4 presidential election, Jubilee’s Kenyatta was declared the winner at the first round, garnering more than the 50 per cent plus one vote required to avoid a run-off.

Not satisfied, Mr Odinga challenged the election victory at the Supreme Court, which upheld the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Since then, Mr Odinga has been leading the Opposition from outside Parliament.

KALONZO MUSYOKA

Ahead of the March 4 elections, Mr Musyoka became Mr Odinga’s running mate in Cord after failing to secure a place in the G7 Alliance, which later became the Jubilee Alliance.
When Cord lost election so too did Mr Musyoka lose the chance to become Deputy President.

Mr Musyoka took the loss in his stride and went back to his Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation, from where he has been operating.

Despite the electoral defeat, he headed Commonwealth elections observers in Thailand and has landed other assignments given his network on the international stage.

MUSALIA MUDAVADI

The Amani Coalition and United Democratic Forum (UDF) presidential candidate finished a distant third, behind Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

He was to suffer another blow when Mr Musikari Kombo, his preferred candidate for the Bungoma senatorial seat during the just-ended by-election lost to the incumbent, Mr Moses Wetang’ula.

Mr Mudavadi has said that the 2013 election was a dress rehearsal for his presidential bid in 2017.

MARTHA KARUA

The former Justice minister and MP for Gichugu put up a spirited presidential campaign, only to finish a distant sixth behind Mr Kenyatta, Mr Odinga, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Peter Kenneth and Mr Abduba Dida. She has since taken a break from politics.

EUGENE WAMALWA

After his political flirtation with both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto in the run-up to the last General Election, the New Ford-Kenya leader dropped his presidential ambitions and backed UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi.

He suffered another blow when his presidential candidate of choice, Mr Mudavadi, failed to make it to State House when he finished a distant third.

PETER KENNETH

The former Planning assistant minister was optimistic of scoring highly given the backing of the youth that he appeared to command on social media. However, he finished fourth and has since gone back to private business.

SALLY KOSGEI

Like Henry, the former Education minister and one-time head of the civil service, fell to the URP wave in Rift Valley, losing her Aldai seat to newcomer Cornelius Serem.

CHIRAU ALI MWAKWERE

Zipapa, as he was known due to his party’s slogan, held various Cabinet positions and had even hinted at taking a stab at the presidency but eventually vied for a Senate seat, which he lost to his long-standing political rival, Mr Hassan Mwanyoha.

Defiant even in defeat, Mr Mwakwere said it was the Matuga and the coastal electorate that had lost — and not him — because they would be locked out of government.

WILLIAM OLE NTIMAMA

He dominated Narok politics for decades before he eventually fell to young lawyer Moitalel ole Kenta and immediately declared he was quitting politics. He recently emerged from political limbo, accusing Narok Governor Samuel ole Tunai of running the county on clan lines.

AMOS KIMUNYA

The former Finance minister was among political heavyweights who were consigned to political oblivion after he was trounced by Mr Samuel Gichigi.

In his farewell letter to voters in Kipipiri, Mr Kimunya said: “I gave the people of Kipipiri a chance to improve their lives, they squandered it. They will live to regret it.”

He has taken a low profile since.

ROF SAM ONGERI

The long serving Nyaribari Masaba MP and Cabinet minister decided not to defend his parliamentary seat and vied to be the Kisii Senator. However, he lost to ODM’s Chris Obure. Unlike other poll losers who were recently given parastatal jobs, Prof Ongeri is yet to get a job in government.-nation.co.ke

PHOTO | FILE Peter Kenneth (right) addressing a press conference in the past. Kenneth was among the presidential candidates in the March 2013 General Election won by Uhuru Kenyatta.

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