Samuel Poghisio: From Being Expelled by KANU to Senate Majority Leader

  • West Pokoto Senator Samuel Poghisio
    West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio
  • In politics, there are no permanent friends nor enemies - just interests, and if the developments of the past weeks are anything to go by, a position is not yours to keep but to hold for the powers above.

    Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was ousted from the Majority Senate seat to pave way for his West Pokot counterpart Samuel Poghisio who will now be leading the Jubilee agenda in the Senate.

    "I'm not only proud but really grateful to the Jubilee party coalition for selecting me," Poghisio stated during an interview on Citizen TV on Tuesday, May 12.

    West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio
    West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio was selected as the Senate Majority leader on May 11, 2020.
    Daily Nation

    Though keeping a low profile in the political arena, the Kanu politician has a career spanning for over 30 years and has shifted through many parties in the country in a bid to keep his political career alive.

    His journey in the murky waters of politics began in 1988 when he won the Kacheliba Constituency seat on a Kanu ticket - at the time, the country was a one-party state and the constituency had just been established.

    Poghisio's victory didn't last long as in the same year, Kanu expelled him together with his Kapenguria counterpart the late Francis Lotodo for castigating the government over alleged discrimination of the Pokot community.

    He was against military operations in the region as he would later explain in an interview with Daily Nation in 2006, "To us, military operations mean the rape of women, destruction of property, and a reign of terror that our children."

    The Senator made a comeback in 1997 unseating the incumbent Peter L. Nang'ole and went on to retain the seat in 2002 on a Kanu ticket.

    As the popularity of Kanu dwindled following the emergence of the super alliance - NARC, Poghisio shifted his political alliance to Kalonzo Musyoka's Orange Democratic Movement Kenya (ODM-K) following the breaking up of the then ruling coalition.

    He was appointed the chairman of the party and retained his parliamentary seat. He was appointed Minister of ICT. 

    Former Minister for Information Samuel Poghisio (left) and former Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo (right) hold a huge buoy as President Kibaki (second right) looks on, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (second left) at the Fort Jesus sea front on June, 12 2009.
    Former Minister for Information Samuel Poghisio (left) and former Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo (right) hold a huge buoy as President Kibaki (second right) looks on, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (second left) at the Fort Jesus seafront on June, 12 2009.
    Daily Nation
    Gideon Maundu

    In 2013, he threatened to run for the presidency by challenging the then leader Kalonzo. He, however, resigned from the party and joined the Jubilee coalition under the United Republican Party (URP).

    He lost the nominations and later moved back to his original party in 2016 and clinched the West Pokot Senate seat in 2017.

    His selection to the Majority leader position is viewed as an alignment gearing up for the 2022 polls after Kanu and Jubilee signed a pre-election agreement

    West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (left) with West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio
    West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (left) with West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio during an event in 2019.

    Poghisio, a former lecturer a Daystar University, boasts of two Master's Degrees, one in communication from Wheaton College in the US and another in Philosophy/ Theology from Lincoln University in the UK.