16.9 C
Nairobi
Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomepoliticiansKenyan Political Bigwigs Who Disappeared From the Limelight

Kenyan Political Bigwigs Who Disappeared From the Limelight

By Prudence Minayo

Kenya is full of vibrant political figures who from day to day, continue to dominate news headlines. While some shy away from the glitz and glamour that comes with media presence, others feature dominantly on various platforms addressing issues or just politicking.

In this article, WoK takes a look at the once vocal politicians who disappeared from the public limelight. Their contribution to politics, however, can’t be ignored.

Wakoli Bifwoli

Wakoli was elected to Parliament in 2002 as MP for Bumula Constituency and went on to become a very vocal politician. In 2007, he retained his seat and was among the most popular politicians from Western Kenya.

File image of former Bumula MP Wakoli Bifwoli. |Courtesy| The Star|
File image of former Bumula MP Wakoli Bifwoli. |Courtesy| The Star|

He also served as Assistant Minister for Lands under the Grand Coalition Government.

Wakoli lost his seat in 2013 and retired to quiet life in the farm. He rares livestock that includes cattle, goats and chicken.

“After losing the election, I just came back home. I decided to come and do my own business.

“I retreated into farming and I also do some small business like I run a hotel,” he told K24 TV during an interview in 2019.

The former MP boasts of 40 acres of mature trees and has since ventured into indigenous trees. His Engokho Kuku Farm provides supplies for his Kanduyi Highway Hotel, which is popular for chicken delicacy.

“At one time, I was in Kampala and a friend of mine came and said that ‘when I come to Kenya, I’d like to take you Kanduyi Highway for Chicken’. I just laughed and thought, ‘I wish he knew it is mine’,” Wakoli narrated.

The 70-year-old former Minister is seeking the Bumula Consitutency seat on a FORD-Kenya party ticket in the upcoming general elections.

Danson Mungatana

The former Garsen MP is a man missing in action. He has, however, recently declared his bid for the Tana River senate seat on a UDA Party ticket.

Mungatana was among the most vocal, youthful MPs under the Kibaki government.

File image of former Garsen MP Danson Mungatana. |Courtesy| Capital FM|
File image of former Garsen MP Danson Mungatana. |Courtesy| Capital FM|

After losing the 2013 elections, Mungatana has struggled to find his way back to national politics. Known as the “crocodile eater”, the former MP was among the founding members of NARC-Kenya which later rebranded to The National Alliance (TNA) that sponsored President Uhuru Kenyatta to State House in 2013.

Mungatana has had his fair share of challenges, having been roped into a number of scandals in the recent past including conspiracy to commit fraud.

In 2018, he lost Ksh76 million to “wash-wash” conmen from West Africa who had promised to multiply his money and make the former Assistant Minister for Medical Services a billionaire.

Kembi Gitura

He served as the MP for Kiharu Constituency between 2003 to 2007. Kembi was elected Murang’a County senator in 2013 but lost the seat to Irungu Kang’ata in 2017.

The politician was then appointed chairman at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) until 2021 when he was removed following a major scandal that rocked the state agency.

File image of former Murang'a Senator Kembi Gitura. |Courtesy| The Star|
File image of former Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura. |Courtesy| The Star|

President Kenyatta appointed him Chairperson of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), a position he held until his resignation in February 2022.

He is seeking to contest the Murang’a County senate seat in the upcoming August 2022 general elections.

Margaret Wanjiru

Margaret Wanjiru is known for her role as a Minister of God. She was ordained as pastor in 1997 before being ordained bishop in 2002. She became well known and amassed a huge congregation in her church.

In 2007, she successfully contested the Starehe Constituency seat dethroning Maina Kamanda. She defended her seat in the 2010 by-election. She remained quite for a long time after failing secure a seat in the 2013 general eletions.

File image of former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru. |Courtesy| The Standard|
File image of former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru. |Courtesy| The Standard|

She has since joined the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and is eyeing the Nairobi County gubernatorial seat.

Omingo Magara

The former Mugirango South MP is a man missing in action since losing his seat in 2013. Magara retreated to farm life and runs one of the best dairy farms in the country.

The politicians briefly served as at the national treasurer for the Deputy President William Ruto-led UDA party before resigning in February 2022.

Magara has since joined Jubilee Party and is eyeing the Kisii County gubernatorial seat.

File image of former Mugirango South MP Omingo Magara. |Photo| Courtesy|
File image of former Mugirango South MP Omingo Magara. |Photo| Courtesy|

Millie Odhiambo

Born in 1966, she trained as a lawyer before going on to become one of the fiercest female politicians in the country. She was first nominated to Parliament in 2007 by the ODM party and later was elected MP for Suba North in 2013. The politician is known for making audacious remarks and stands, unafraid of the consequences.

While she would often make headlines in the past for one thing after the other, she seems to be working behind the scenes these days.

File image of Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo. |Photo| Courtesy|
File image of Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo. |Photo| Courtesy|

Rachel Shebesh

Rachel was elected Nairobi Woman Representative in 2013 but failed to retain her seat in 2017 when she lost to Esther Passaris. She is known for speaking her mind and championing for women’s rights.

Depsite her appointment as Chief Administrative Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, she has remained relatively quite.

She surfaced recently when she led protests in Nairobi alongside Passaris, Nairobi Governoe Anne Kananu, among other leaders. They were protesting the insults hurled by politicians at former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

File image of former Nairobi County Woman Respresentative Rachael Shebesh. |Courtesy| The Star|
File image of former Nairobi County Woman Respresentative Rachael Shebesh. |Courtesy| The Star|