10 Former Student Leaders Who are Now Controlling Kenyan Politics

  • The Kenyan political arena has been one of the most interesting with new faces coming up whenever we have elections after every five years.

    To some, becoming one of the greatest leaders with massive influence does not happen by chance but is a journey spanning several years.

    A research conducted by Kenyans.co.ke has revealed that most politicians controlling the political scene at the moment started their journey back in University as student leaders.

    Some of such influential politicians who started politics back in campus include;

    1. James Orengo

    The Siaya Senator was a student leader at the University of Nairobi where he was studying Law.

    Orengo was elected the Student Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) chair in 1972 and served for one term.

    He is now a top member of National Super Alliance (NASA) and also leads the legal team of the coalition.

    He is credited with last year's successful presidential petition at the Supreme Court where President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election was nullified.

    [caption caption="Senator James Orengo"][/caption]

    2. Kipchumba Murkomen

    The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator is a name that cannot miss when discussing Kenyan politics at the moment.

    He started his political career at the University of Nairobi where he was elected the chair of the Kenya Law School Students Society during his time as a law student in the institution.

    At the moment, the Senator is the leader of Majority in the Senate and is the number one defender of the Jubilee government.

    [caption caption="File image of Senator Murkomen"][/caption]

    3. Hassan Omar 

    You cannot speak about Mombasa politics without mentioning the name of former Senator Hassan Omar.

    The vocal leader started his career back at Moi University where he was elected Moi University Students Organisation (MUSO) chair before being expelled from the institution.

    He was expelled for allegedly demanding the renaming of Moi University over claims that it had been named after an illiterate man.

    Before joining politics he served at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights as the Secretary-General.

    The ex-Senator vied for the Mombasa Governorship but lost to incumbent Hassan Joho.

    Despite losing, Omar is still a force to reckon with in the political scene of Mombasa and Kenya at large.

    [caption caption="File image of Hassan Omar"][/caption]

    4. Johnson Sakaja

    The biggest thing that comes to mind when Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja is mentioned is the fact that President Kenyatta used his party to get to Presidency in 2013.

    The young Nairobi Senator began his political journey at the University of Nairobi where he served as vice chair of Actuarial Science Students Association.

    In 2013, he was the Chairman of The National Alliance (TNA) which nominated him as a Member of Parliament.

    [caption caption="Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja"][/caption]

    5. Ababu Namwamba

    Although he lost his Budalangi parliamentary seat, Mr Namwamba is still a big name in the political scene and is rumored to be among hopefuls for a Cabinet slot in President Kenyatta's government.

    He started his journey at the University of Nairobi as the Parkland Campus representative at SONU.

    Currently, he is the Labor Party of Kenya leader.

    One of the most memorable things during his time as MP is when he swore his allegiance to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga while being sworn into parliament.

    [caption caption="File image of Ababu Namwamba"][/caption]

    6. Anyang' Nyong'o

    The learned Professor was also a beneficiary of student politics having served as a leader at Makerere University.

    Professor Nyong'o is one of the top brains in the country and has been in several positions including leading ministries.

    He is currently Kisumu County Governor and a senior member of the Opposition.

    Before winning the Kisumu governorship, he served as the County's Senator and has been a long-serving MP for the region.

    [caption caption="Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o"][/caption]

    7. Miguna Miguna

    The fierce and no-nonsense lawyer is not new to politics as many people think since he was elected as SONU chair back in 1987.

    Dr Miguna vied for the Nairobi Governorship in 2017 but lost to Governor Mike Sonko.

    Currently, he is a self-proclaimed 'general' of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) that is planning for the inauguration of Opposition Leader Raila Odinga.

    [caption caption="File image of Miguna Miguna"][/caption]

    8. Isaac Ruto

    The leader of the Chama Cha Mashinani Party served as a student activist at the University of Nairobi.

    The former Bomet Governor lost in 2017 election but is still a respected name in politics.

    Before joining County politics, Mr Ruto served as the MP for Chepalungu and was appointed Assistant Minister in former President Mwai Kibaki's cabinet.

    He commands a huge support in the South Rift region.

    [caption caption="Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto"][/caption]

    9. Gladys Wanga

    The Homa Bay County Woman Representative is a former Secretary General at the Kenyatta University Students Association (KUSA).

    She was the first woman to hold the position and is currently a senior member of NASA.

    Wanga has been vocal on the matters of MPs salaries and Opposition affairs including the inauguration of Mr Odinga.

    [caption caption="File image of Gladys Wanga"][/caption]

    10. Babu Owino

    Mr Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino is the latest student leader to join politics after winning the Embakasi East parliamentary seat.

    He is the longest-serving SONU Chair.

    The Legislator is known for his sharp critique of the government.

    [caption caption="File image of Babu Owino"][/caption]