Several tycoons backed by deep pockets and international connections have been at the forefront of Kenya’s politics, reportedly bankrolling campaigns for top presidential election candidates.
While some opt to pull the strings behind the curtains, others take sides and openly come out, actively campaigning for their candidates of choice.
Below is a list of billionaires whose presence in any political camp is an asset.
- Billionaire Chris Kirubi: The self-made billionaire was among the wealthy businessmen who played a role in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election and reelection.
- Jimmy Wanjigi: By his own admission, Wanjigi propped Uhuru to power in 2013 and the decision to have Uhuru vie on a TNA party ticket was made in his home. After Uhuru’s first term, Wanjigi switched sides and supported Raila Odinga, actively joining his campaigns.
- Peter Muthoka: The tycoon who hails from Ukambani and operates Acceler logistics bankrolled Jubilee party campaigns in 2017, breaking the bank and donating a fleet of more than 10 vehicles for the party’s presidential elections candidate.
- The Council of Eminent Persons: Mt Kenya has an influential lobby group that manipulates the political direction. Members of the elite Council of Eminent Persons, chaired by the wealthy Mr Joe Kibe includes billionaires, particularly from Murang’a County.Dr Nyamu Njoka, who is the secretary, former Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga, the coordinator, Royal Media Services chairman Samuel Macharia, and former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi are among the members.
- Johnstone Muthama: That the gemstone dealer from Machakos has deep pockets is not in doubt. He provided the much-needed financial resources to Wiper party and was reportedly involved in a decision that forced Kalonzo Musyoka to shelve his own ambitions and support Raila Odinga.
- Mohammed Jaffer: The owner of Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd, has in the past been mentioned as among the financiers of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns. He however stays away from politics, opting to focus on his businesses.
- Mr Abubakar Joho: The leder brother to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is not named Alpha for nothing. He has deep pockets as well as connections and is an asset in politics.
Other billionaires who control the strings include Mombasa billionaire Suleiman Shahbal, Mr Bundotich Zedekiah alias Buzeki, reportedly hold sway.