Politicians have been known to always remember their humble beginnings, and give credit where it’s due.
Only last year, nominated senator Millicent Omanga famously revealed how the deputy president William Ruto brought her into politics, pulling her from a bedsheet retail business. So confident and thankful was she for the DP’s help that she even claimed, were it not for Ruto, she would still be selling bedsheets in Nairobi.
Another senior politician has now come out to reveal what his political mentor did for him.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has never been shy of admitting to the fact that he owes his political success to Uhuru Kenyatta.
Fresh off college where he had been engaged in student leadership, Sakaja thrust himself into the murky world of street politics, registering an obscure party known as The National Alliance Party, TNA.
Little did he know that his party would be the party of choice for eventual president Uhuru Kenyatta, after he had a falling out with members of his previous party, KANU.
TNA won the presidency, Sakaja was nominated to parliament, and the rest, as they say, is history.
However, it’s not the nomination that is most stunning, but rather, what happened before the nomination.
A local media house was recently running a story on the cost of running an election in Kenya, and running in an election too. It outlined the costs that the electoral body incurs, and also, that incurred by political parties, projecting that in 2022, costs incurred may be close to two billion dollars.
Comparing present costs to those of other elections, they reached out to the secretary generals of the parties of elections past to find out how much they spent.
Anyang’ Nyong’o who was previously ODM’s secretary general didn’t want to disclose any financial information, and simply insinuated it ran into the billions.
There are more than 40 thousand polling stations in Kenya, and parties will have an agent in each station for two days, at a fee of 2,000 per day.
Sakaja, who was more forthcoming and open, said that in TNA, he ran a budget of 5 billion as secretary general, in the 2013 polls.