Kenyan Politics:Winners and losers of 2013
How leaders weathered storm to fight their way back to political limelight.
The year 2013 brought good fortunes to some politicians who had been pushed to the periphery in the last five years, although they had to engage in tough battles to find their way back to the political limelight.
PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA
Although he was a Deputy Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government, his political star was largely dimmed by his indictment at the ICC. His naming among the Ocampo Six and the confirmation of his trial seemed to take away his popularity for a moment.
However, last year Mr Kenyatta launched a strong campaign under the Jubilee coalition that defied waves to win the March presidential election, beating former Prime Minister Raila Odinga by more than 800,000 votes.
The Supreme Court’s affirmation that he had won the election gave him the leeway to create the first Cabinet under the new Constitution. He streamlined the blotted ministries, creating only 18 out of the 40 operating in the last government.
DEPUTY PRESIDENT WILLIAM RUTO
Having fell out with Mr Odinga in ODM and facing trial at the ICC, Mr Ruto warmed his way up to the government as the second in command through the Jubilee coalition.
His United Republican Party joined hands with President Kenyatta’s TNA to form the winning coalition. Mr Ruto who amassed the Rift Valley votes to ensure Mr Kenyatta ascension to the presidency, initially found the going tough when he irredeemably fell out with Mr Odinga.
He was kicked out of the grand coalition but managed to lock in the Rift Valley support and used it to ascend to the Deputy President position.
MINING CABINET SECRETARY NAJIB BALALA
Towards the end of last year, his career seemed headed for disaster but he turned it around when he teamed up with Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Ms Charity Ngilu to form the Jubilee coalition summit.
Like Mr Ruto, Mr Balala fell out with the ODM leader and formed his own party, the Republican Congress Party, which he used to vie for the Mombasa senatorship. He lost to Wiper’s Omar Hassan but was later appointed the Cabinet Secretary for Mining.
LANDS CABINET SECRETARY CHARITY NGILU
Despite trotting between the two major coalitions towards the March 4 elections, the veteran politician and Narc leader, finally settled with Jubilee and instantly became one of the leading faces during the campaigns. She lost her quest for Kitui senate seat to Mr David Musila.
However, Mr Kenyatta appointed her the Cabinet Secretary for the powerful Lands docket in the new-look Cabinet.
LABOUR CABINET SECRETARY KAZUNGU KAMBI
He is a close friend of Deputy President William Ruto and was appointed to the docket after losing his quest for Kaloleni parliamentary seat. He was one of the URP front men during the campaigns and got the plum job courtesy of his friendship with the DP.
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SPAKER JUSTIN MUTURI
He vied and lost the Siakago parliamentary seat on a TNA ticket. However, the party picked him to vie for the seat against former Speaker Kenneth Marende who was fronted by ODM. He easily won the Speaker’s seat thanks to the Jubilee coalition numbers in the House.
SENATE SPEAKER EKWE ETHURO
The Speaker was picked by URP to contest the seat and was helped to it by the majority Jubilee members in the House. He lost the election for Turkana Senate to Mr John Munyes of Cord.-nation.co.ke