Even as the presidential campaign continues to revolve around Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, the coming year promises a new round of political theatre and a fresh cast of young characters.
On Election Day, there will be 290 constituency seats up for grabs, 47 Senate seats, 47 Women Representatives seats, 47 Governors seats, while 1450 Member of county assembly seats will be on the line — some more heavily contested than others. On the National and County level, careers will be launched.
Here is a look ahead at a group of the movers and shakers who aren’t running for the presidency– some of them familiar, while others are only beginning to rise to prominence — who figure to make themselves known in 2016.
11. Steve Mbogo
The youthful flamboyant Nairobi Businessman is definitely going for the Starehe parliamentary seat going by the foray he has had into the area. Drawing his support from largely University Students where he is popularly referred to as Mr. President, Steve Mbogo has been able to make head ways in the constituency.
STEVE MBOGO has already formed a well-oiled campaign secretariat and they have been doing a lot of projects in Starehe. Mbogo describe himself as a young and visionary leader who is highly motivated and result oriented and has a vision for his people and his country at large. He says he is willing to serve his fellow countrymen and women regardless of their ethnicity or political and party affiliations.
10. Laban Mosi
Engineer Laban is a civil and structural engineer and he is a consultant engineer in Design and project management. He also runs a successful transport and logistics company. He has tremendous passion and dedication to the development of the ODM party and a staunch supporter of CORD leader Raila odinga. He is a great supporter of the youth movement being a youth himself. He believes that young people need a youth-branded platform, from where they can speak powerfully, take appropriate action, inspire and influence positive impact.
Laban is a member of the International Youth Initiative Advisory Board that plans strategies for development in empowering youth to become active citizens able to influence public life and a life member of the Red Cross Society since 2001. Laban is widely travelled and has been an inspirational speaker at numerous local and international fora on youth Leading Development.
Laban’s biggest challenge has been to bring the Karachuonyo youth to the fore of alleviating their plight through proactive and sustained actions that gear towards livelihoods development. Laban sees a society where the youth shall no longer be marginalized on issues affecting them. He says he will not rest until he see that kind of leadership that will respect the course of humanity, that will take care of future generations and that will be sensitive to the increasing needs of all generations.
Laban will be vying for the Karachuonyo parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket!
9. Vincent Kigen
A relentless leader, a young politician and a leader, Kigen has beaten all the odds to be what he is today. According to him, he thinks age does not matter as much as content, scope, knowledge, ability, focus and wisdom of an individual. He is a astute businessman, inspirational thinker, policy analyst, youth development expert and a political scientist.
Kigen started school at Kipsirichet Primary School in Londiani and proceeded to Kericho High School. He later joined the University of Nairobi where he graduated with Bachelor of commerce degree and B.A Political Science. He was the Vice Chairman, Students organization of Nairobi University (SONU) 2011-2012. He joined URP secretariat in the run up to 2013 elections as a senior director in charge of programs.
His key focused is on improving the standards of living for the people of Kipkelion East constituency by empowering Youth and Women Groups. Have spearheaded the registration and funding of women and youth groups in the constituency. Secured employment opportunities for many youth from his Constituency through his networks. Being a deeply religious person, Kigen is at the forefront in improving spiritual facilities in the constituency by aiding in construction of places of worship.
“As the bible says, there are seasons, a time to plant and a time to reap. This is the youth time to plant their leadership skills by ascending to leadership position of this country.”
Kigen want to foster positive sensibilities among the youth by developing a new kind of leadership in Kenya that will stand the taste of time and through the actions be replicated elsewhere in the country. Through meeting other leaders within the country, he has been able to reflect back and find a comfort zone within the youthful leaders that are ready to take the country leadership to the next level.
8. Robert Alai
Robert Alai is a blogger, Internet entrepreneur and cyber-activist. Alai, who used to run the now defunct information technology weblog at Techmtaa.com. He has earned notoriety for his relentless stream of social rants that somewhat entertains and, not unusually, embarrass public officials in equal measure. He has been sued and briefly incarcerated for his highly opinionated political and sometimes personal attacks on politicians, government officials and business leaders. A self-styled screamer and voice of the voiceless, Alai’s intrepid and gung-ho pursuit for positive action, and his almost rabid distaste for slow processes or corporate bureaucracy has turned him into an icon for justice, albeit in a fashion different from common civil society.
Robert Alai has been engaged in political causes, organizing and leading demonstrations against the excesses of Kenyan parliamentarians, as well as openly supporting the presidential campaigns of the Cord Coalition in the 2013 general elections.
In the wake of the Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi where over 65 people were killed, Alai was praised, both by local and international media for his timely and creative use of social media, mainly Twitter, to provide updates of what was happening at the mall. In a world of virtual media shut down by a government keen to spin the narrative to its own public image purposes, Alai virtually became the go-to person for the alternative, more accurate view. He was constant in his tweeting, all day and night long, reporting each and every significant happening. His accounts were considered as being more accurate than – and sometimes contradicting – the updates provided by the authorities.
The mainstream media, and public discourse was largely formed and directed around his reports and views, including the emergence of the alleged disagreement among the security agencies that had resulted in the deaths of several security operatives, as well as the widely condemned looting of the besieged mall. Alai is vying for Member of Parliament for Embakasi East. The constituency is packed with youthful aspirants and it would be an interesting watch especially the ODM primaries.
7. Anold Maliba
He is the CEO for Organizing for UhuRuto Taskforce 2017 who had organized a pararell demonstrations on Mondays and Thursdays to counter the CORD demos but later cancelled it after the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs appointed him as a member of the National youth council. He later declined the position and opted to concentrate on politics.
Maliba is the current chairperson on The National Alliance (TNA) Youth League and a former chairman of the National Youth Council – Nairobi. He is young, energetic and experienced to say the least. He harbours ambition to be the next senator of Nairobi County. In 2013 General elections, he ran for Nairobi Senate, on SAFINA ticket but lost squarely. He thinks the senate seat is critical if devolution has to succeed. He believes that currently Devolution is working against Nairobi, with the Commission on Revenue Allocation not allocating sufficient resources to the County.
Believable sources informed us that Bishop Margret Wanjiru, who decamped ODM for TNA is keen on having Arnold run as her running mate. This could be to strike an ethnic arithmetic, but also founded on the knowledge that the youngster is likely to impress when given a stage.
He is also giving a thought on going for member of parliament for Mathare Constituency.
6. Demas Kiprono
Demas Kiprono Senior Litigation Officer at ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, a London Based international not for profit organisation that champions freedom of expression, access to information and transparency. He practices constitutional law, international human rights law, humanitarian law as well as general commercial transactions. Over the past 5 years, Kiprono has successfully litigated several high profile human rights, public interest and constitutional law cases on behalf of, and for individual petitioners, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.
He was part of Counsel who secured compensation for the family of a father and son who were executed by police officers in Kawangware in 2012; he successfully litigated the challenge by KNCHR, of the Presidential Retirements Benefits Act which was declared unconstitutional for parliament’s failure to consult the SRC, a Constitutional Commission protected by Article 255 of the Constitution; he was a co-litigator in the challenge by CORD and KNCHR to the Security Laws Amendment Act that saw 8 sections declared unconstitutional for violating various fundamental rights including freedom of the media, right to fair trial and usurping of the powers of the National Police Service Commission by creating an Police Service Disciplinary Board, among other issues in early 2015.
He also litigated on the landmark case that affirmed the rights of children born out of surrogacy and their parents after the director of children’s services removed the children from the parents just because they were born out of a surrogacy agreement. In the same breath, he participated in the landmark case that directed the government to collate data on intersex children in Kenya as well as affirmed their rights of registration as citizens.
Recently, he successfully litigated a case that struck off section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act which created the offence of ‘misuse of a licenced telecommunications system’ that was found wanting for being overly vague. It is noteworthy that this provision was being abused by the state to unduly stifling online expression.
As a certified investigator trained by the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) based at Hague, Netherlands. He, on behalf of the KNCHR, led investigations missions into human rights violations in various parts of Kenya including Trans-mara tribal clashes in Narok County, Baringo County cattle rustling which has led to an on going public inquiry in Baringo and Turkana Counties, Marsabit County and Tana River conflict.
Mr. Kiprono has written and lectured on legal topics relating primarily to historical injustices, constitutionalism, transparency; international law and instruments and comparative law. He regularly contributes Op-Ed articles in the Nairobi Law Monthly, the Daily Nation, the Star and Africa Law Digest.
Demas is a member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), the East African Law Society and the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya). He is also a certified international criminal investigator in the roster of the Geneva based Justice Rapid Response (JRR).
Demas is keen to capture the Kesses parliamentary seat in Uasin Gishu County.
5. Stella Agara
Ms. Agara formally worked for the Africa Youth Trust – a project that aims to empower youth to engage in Human Rights and Democracy work and currently consulting for the government of Malawi. At a tender age of 17, Stella who was studying at Buruburu girls represented Kenya at the UN convention on the rights of the child held in Egypt in the year 1999. She stood before hundreds of delegates and representatives from various countries to present a children’s report she prepared, on behalf of Kenya. At 18, she was appointed the chairlady of the Child Rights Defenders Movement, an organization that champions for children’s rights. She was later to be spotted by the global Youth Employment Summit and appointed to the organization’s steering council.
Along with other youth right’s activists, in 2006, Stella convinced the then Minister for the newly formed Ministry of Youth affairs and Sports to allow Kenya to host the Youth Employment Summit.
Much to their joy, the Government agreed and the summit was held from September 13 to 16. It was in the same event that the Ministry of Youth Affairs launched their 2007-2011 strategic plan.
Stella was among the minds that pushed for the establishment of the Sh1billion Youth Enterprise Fund.
“On the last day of the summit, we had a meeting with Equity Bank’s CEO James Mwangi. He pledged Sh1 billion to support the Youth Enterprise Fund that would see youth borrow loans to start small businesses to enrich their lives,” says a beaming Stella.
During the Bomas Constitutional Conference, she was appointed by the Kenya Alliance for Advocacy of Children to represent the rights of the children in the constitution making process.
It is not clear if she will vie in the next election but if she would, she would go for either Kibra or Langata seat.
5. Ronnie Osumba
Ronald Osumba, an Archbishop Tutu Fellow and an Aspen Institute graduate, is the Head of Public Sector at Oracle Corporation Kenya. The President of the Republic of Kenya also recently appointed him Chairman of the Youth Advisory Board, a state corporation. He has experience spanning 12 years in the private sector working with various Blue Chip Companies. He has led highly successful teams in the areas of public policy, business development, thought-leadership, brand, relationship and financial management.
Ronald served as Managing Partner and currently Chairman of Board at Emerald Africa Consulting, a public policy firm, and has had an exemplary career as Senior Manager for Government Relations at Safaricom Limited, a job that allowed him to shape policy decisions both at the national and county government levels. He has worked with many Youth organizations, notably Kenya Model United Nations, Youth Agenda, and National Youth Convention amongst others.
Ronald founded Onward Kenya, a Social Action platform rallying the Youth to organize for social Change. He chairs the Board of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) Kenya and serves on Managing Committee Starehe Boys’ Centre where he also chaired the Alumni association. Here he leads a host of industry captains, senior government officials and community leaders.
He is also a board member of the Uzima University Foundation Board and steers its Executive & Publicity Committee and its Legal & Liaison Committee.
Ronald has followed his roadmap to become a person deeply engaged in youth development with a sole aim of imputing values into young people that model them into leaders in touch with the 21st century problems. He recently in Kenya’s General Elections 2013 vied for the office of Deputy President alongside Hon. Peter Kenneth and helped re-engineer political campaigning in this country.
His core values are well embedded in a philosophy of focus, perseverance and excellence. His political philosophy is anchored in a belief that strong and accountable leadership does not necessarily emanate from years of sitting in political office but in being able to inspire a majority of the citizens to organize for the purpose of improving their lives. With this diverse experience, Ronald is very well equipped to help drive Kenya’s development agenda to the next level.
He is rumoured to vie the position of governor – Nairobi County or Member of Parliament for Gem, Kibra, Ruaraka or Langata.
4. Johnson Sakaja
Sakaja is among the new crop of young leaders in Kenya. He is the current chairman of the national alliance party (TNA) and a nominated Member of Parliament and has sponsored two key bills. People find Sakaja to be very sensible. Sakaja started his political career in 2007 as a driver in the Kibaki Tena campaign. He rose through the ranks to be a personal assistant to one of the directors of the campaign. Johnson Sakaja, the National Chairman of TNA is currently the Principal Partner at Arthur Johnson Consultants which offers financial and strategic advisory services to Governmental and Private business entities in Kenya.
Sakaja Johnson studied Actuarial Science and is currently pursuing Political Economics where he found his interests lie. He began his foray into national politics through student politics at the University of Nairobi (NASA – as vice chair of the Actuarial Students Association and later in SONU).
Sakaja was also instrumental in the constitution making process being a key consultant to the COE and Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution on the issue of Representation and helped formulate the formula for delimitation of electoral boundaries in Kenya.
Admittedly his experience in student politics at the University of Nairobi is useful in his new role as chairman of a popular national political party because SONU politics can sometimes get pretty rough and dirty.
Sakaja has declared interest for the Nairobi Governor seat. He has already formed his secretariat and has been making inroads in the vast county.
3. Ken Okoth
Hon Kenneth Okoth was raised in the Kibera slums of Nairobi in a family of six children and a single mother. He attended Olympic Primary School and Starehe Boys’ Centre. Ken was a scholarship student at St. Lawrence University in New York, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing, German, and European Studies in 2001.
In 2005, Ken earned his Masters of Arts Degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington DC where he deepened his understanding of diplomacy and international relations. Devoted to issues of empowerment for children, youth, and women, Ken has been a teacher, coach, mentor, director, and professor at various institutions including the Potomac School, Georgetown University, the University of Dar es Salaam, and the Children of Kibera Foundation.
Ken served as a trustee of his alma mater St Lawrence University from 2006 to 2010.Ken enjoys music and loves to travel and learn foreign languages in his free time. He has taken part in academic exchanges and study tours to Canada, China, India, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Estonia and Russia. In March 2013 Ken was elected to represent the people of Kibra Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya where he serves as a member of the Committee on Education Science Research and Technology. Ken is also a founding member of the Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Association, a bi-partisan caucus of likeminded legislators committed to promoting a rights based society in Kenya through representation, legislation, and oversight.
Ken Okoth will certainly be keen on vying again for his seat. Indications are that Ken may not enjoy ODM favor due to his overly accommodating approach.
Ken may however not be wished away as many residents of Kibra truly appreciate what he has done. Especially young students who have benefited immensely with his bursary scheme.
2. Aaron Cheruiyot
In his first stab at elective politics, floored political big-wigs like former Roads Minister Franklin Bett, former ODM Executive Director Magerer Langat and former National Housing Corporation Chairman Sammy Chepkwony to secure the Jubilee Alliance ticket for the Kericho senatorial seat.
Watching Aaron doing his job, one cannot avoid noticing how interested he is in his job and the great passion he puts in what he does to help the people of Kericho. The fact that he captures every single detail and pursues all avenues he is convinced will lead him to better the lives of people of Kericho shows passion. He recently organized a free medical camp across Kericho County that reached over 5,000 people. His innovation cannot go unnoticed; he has his objectives set and will not hesitate to try out different approaches or adapting approaches to suit situations. The motivation he has while doing his job is evident too.
Aaron will be defending his seat in the next election and truly speaking, he has no match there.
1. Nixon Korir
Nixon is the secretary Youth Affairs under the presidency and also the executive Director of the Jubilee Party. He is not new to leadership positions. In his 1st year in campus, He was elected a congressman. In his 2nd year, he was the president of the University of Nairobi school of Law. He went on to be a powerful secretary general of Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU). While still a Secretary General, he played a key role in the 2010 referendum as a national youth leader for the NO team that was defeated by the yes team. As if that was not enough, he was among the founder member of the United Republican Party (URP) and became its first chairman. He was the first young Kenyan to hold a high post in a major political party.
Nixon is a deeply strategic thinker, he has distinguished himself as critical to the political strategy of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto as far as Nairobi politics is concerned.
Korir contested in 2013 for MP Langata constituency where he came second to ODM’s Joash Olum. Nixon is keen on vying again for Langata Parliamentary seat and he the currently the front-runner having cut a niche for himself as the most consistent leader in Langata. His support cut across tribe and party affiliations. The current MP Joash Olum is largely absent, and is seen as having won largely due to his party ODM.
ODM has been keen on enticing Korir to join them this has been due to the immense influence he is currently wielding on the ground as he has been helping the constituents through out. His Nixon Korir foundation recently gave bursaries to 500 needy students across the constituency. His foundation has done a lot of youth and women empowerment projects. He has placed women and
youth in saccos and has helped them secure financing for their businesses. You cannot pass by Langata and fail to notice Nixon Korir, from kiosks, carwashes, boda boda riders to young touts wearing his label ‘GENERALI’. As things stand now, Langata seat is his to lose.