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Kenyan Politicians To Watch In 2023

The newsmakers and what makes them interesting.

BY Beryl Karimi-La Patrona

Jan 02, 2023, 12:57 PM

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You cannot separate life from politics just like you cannot separate politics from politicians or politicians from the electorate.

We are all intertwined with one another and because we cannot live without each other here are some of the Kenyan politicians to watch in 2022

The President, William Ruto

He came into power due to his campaign model of promising a bottom-up approach to the management and distribution of resources.

His entire campaign focused on the struggling working class and promised them better-living conditions but hasn't delivered on his promise four months later. If anything, things look grimmer.

While he claims that he inherited a government that had no money, that isn't going to save him from the wrath of the electorate that voted in him expecting change.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any changes in the year 2023. It will be more interesting to see if he will come through for the Mama mboga as promised or if the gap between the rich and the poor in this country is going to keep widening as it did in the last ten years while he was still the deputy president. 

Nairobi Governor, Johnson Sakaja

No one knew he would end up as Governor of Nairobi. His campaign was riddled with so much controversy regarding his education or lack of it that he almost ended up not being part of the ballot.

According to Kenyan law, a governor is supposed to have a degree. He is said to have dropped out of the University of Nairobi, something that stirred debate in the weeks leading up to the election. In a twist of events, it so happened that he had another degree from a foreign university.

He successfully contested for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat but that was just the beginning of what is now a seemingly gruelling process to implement his policies.

He's been in office for four months now and has taken on the rowdy bars that have been the source of unnecessary noise and chaos in the city. He ordered the closure of all the bars operating in residential areas. The business community pleaded with him to change his stance but it all fell on deaf ears as he stood retained his position.

And while he was able to navigate that, there is a substantial environmental problem he needs to solve. He is called out every day on Twitter because of the uncontrolled littering within the city and its environs and it will be interesting to see how he will solve this issue.

Meru Governor, Kawira Mwangaza

She is the first female governor of Meru county, a place notorious for not electing women. It is said that Meru is the only county that has never produced a female member of parliament and yet she beat two men, who are veteran politicians, and one the incumbent governor to secure the seat.

As sweet as her win was to the women of this country, it was short-lived. She was impeached by members of the county assembly in no time and survived the impeachment when it hit the floor of the Senate. 

One problem that has continued to plague her while in office is the failure to separate the first gentleman's office from the governor's office. She has come into question for allowing him to meddle with matters of the county and it will be interesting to watch how she will handle that.

Additionally, her relationship with the member of the county assembly is also something to keep an eye on. 67 out of the 69 members of the county assembly approved her impeachment.

Will they impeach her again or will she find a common ground and work with them? 

Nominated Senator, Karen Nyamu

She is not just a Senator; she is the other woman. During the December holidays, she was caught on camera in Dubai in an altercation that almost turned physical with her former lover Samido and his wife. She was eventually kicked out of the venue where Samidoh was performing.

As expected, her latest drama trended on Twitter for the better part of the weekend. Think pieces were written about her and in no time people were calling for her dismissal from the political party that put her in the Senate.

During the impeachment hearing of Governor Kawira at the Senate, she opined that female politicians were being punished for things that male politicians often get away with. For instance, between 2017 and 2022, a governor accused of murdering his pregnant lover was allowed to complete his term.

Karen is someone to watch out for because she loves drama and stated that she is not afraid of it all. Despite the love problems that have continued to plague her, she is hardworking, as demonstrated during the 2022 campaigns, when she showed up while heavily pregnant.