Kenyan Politicians Who Are Pilots By Profession

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Kenyan Politicians Who Are Pilots By Profession
From Left: Ronald Karauri, Ruweida Mohammed Obo, and Michael Waikenda. |Photos| Courtesy|

As the August General Elections in Kenya draws to a close, several politicians have been newly elected while others have successfully retained their seats.

While legislation may be their next new job, these leaders hold qualifications in various career fields. In this article, WoK profiles dome of the elected politicians who have a background in aviation.

Ronald Karauri

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The newly elected Member of Parliament for Kasarani, Nairobi County was a captain at the national carrier Kenya Airways before he stepped down to focus on betting giant, Sportpesa.

Karauri halted his pursuit of an Engineering degree at the University of Nairobi and went on to join Kenya Airways (KQ) to train as a pilot.

Kenyan Politicians Who Are Pilots By Profession
Kasarani MP Ronald Karauri Photo/Courtesy

He worked with Kenya Airways for more than a decade and was the Secretary General of Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA). He co-piloted and piloted the Boeing 737.

The former KQ pilot was ranked 22nd on the Choiseul 100 Africa – Economic Leaders of Tomorrow.

By joining politics and being successfully elected, he follows in the footsteps of his father Adams Karauri who was an educator, Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister.

Ruweida Mohammed

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Newly elected Lamu East MP Captain Ruweida Mohammed is a pilot by profession and flew many prominent leaders in the country including ODM Leader Raila Odinga, Siaya Governor-elect Senior Counsel James Orengo, outgoing Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and business tycoons Mohammed Jaffer of Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd and Governor Joho’s elder brother Abu Joho among others.

Ruweida was a pilot since 1999 before she quit to contest the Lamu Woman Representative seat in 2017. She worked for Avro and Mombasa airlines.

“For the Mombasa airlines I used to fly mostly to Masai Mara, Mombasa and Lamu. With the Avro, I would fly to Zanzibar, Comoros, Mozambique and Uganda among other countries,” she told People Daily.

“I started my career as a pilot in 1999 until 2017 when I joined politics,” she added.

Kenyan Politicians Who Are Pilots By Profession
Lamu East MP Ruweida Mohammed Obo. |Courtesy| The Nation|

Michael Waikenda

The youthful politician is the current Director of Political, and Inter-governmental Affairs at State House. He has held the role since May 2019 after an appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Waikenda attended Sante Fe Community College in Florida for an Associate Degree in Arts. He later proceeded to the University of Florida for bachelor’s degree in Science specializing in Electrical Engineering after which he enrolled for an Airline Pilot Training while still in Florida and was honored with a Commercial Pilots License and Multi-Engine Rating. This qualified him to cover 3,000 fight hours for both Boeing 737 and 767 aircrafts.

He joined Kenya Airways in 2005 and was promoted to the First Officer position six months later. He left KQ in 2012 and joined politics where he served as the Chief Coordinator of The National Alliance (TNA) in Kajiado North, Kangema among other places.

Dennis Maina

The youthful pilot was eyeing the Kiharu parliamentary seat in Murang’a County. After declaring his bid, the politician sought to oust the incumbent Ndindi Nyoro who successfully retained his seat in the just concluded August 9, 2022, general election.

Maina preached hope and shared a host of ideas with members of the public with an aim of transforming the constituency.

Kenyan Politicians Who Are Pilots By Profession
Kiharu parliamentary aspirant Dennis Maina. |Photo| Courtesy|
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