Factors Wanjigi Banks on to Win 2022 Presidential Election

  • Jimi Wanjigi (centre) addresses a press conference on October 18, 2017, as his fater Maina Wanjigi (right), and his wife Nsinza Wanjigi (left) look on.
    Jimi Wanjigi (centre) addresses a press conference on October 18, 2017, as his father Maina Wanjigi (right), and his wife Nsinza Wanjigi (left) look on.
  • Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi on Wednesday, June 16, announced that he would be vying for the top seat come 2022.

    Wanjigi, who has been a silent actor in Kenya's politics, confirmed that he would be active and would not play the role of a Kingmaker anymore.

    A section of activists argued that it was a matter of time before Wanjigi declared his interest in Kenyan politics following that his father, Maina Wanjigi, was a renowned politician. 

    "Maybe the time has come to say, what I can do for other people, I can also do it for myself and he comes from a political family. His father was a politician for a long time, an MP for Kamukunji and CS," political analyst Barack Muluka told Kenyas.co.ke.

    An image of Raila and Wanjigi
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi (right) attending a church service in Bondo, Siaya County on Sunday 11 October 2020.

    "Once you have politics in the family, people will always want to come out and try," he added.

    His declaration might influence the nature of coalitions that will be formed come 2022 and to clinch the seat, the businessman is banking on several factors including;

    1.) Funds 

    The businessman, who has a knack for flying under the radar, has previously been suspected of bankrolling some of the top politicians in the Country.

    In 2017, for example, Wanjigi is said to have financed the National Super Alliance (Nasa), a coalition that involved; Raila Odinga (ODM leader), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper leader), Moses Wetang'ula (Ford-K) and Musalia Mudavadi (ANC).

    He is also said to have funded the Uhuru and Ruto government in 2013.

    It is clear that the businessman will, therefore, be able to fund his own campaign.

    He will take a leaf from 45th US President Donald Trump, a businessman who funded part of his own campaign from pocket.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave the court.
    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave a courtroom after a past hearing

    2.) Mt Kenya politics

    In recent times, there has been a division in Mt Kenya politics with a section of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto and others to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Wanjigi's decision to vie for the top seat, therefore, will either complicate the politics in the region or become a game-changer in the 2022 elections.

    It is not clear whether Wanjigi will vie on an ODM ticket as he is yet to announce his party.

    3.) Government insider

    Wanjigi has been a government insider since 2002 when former president Mwai Kibaki got into power. He was instrumental in connecting the grand coalition government with Chinese contractors, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

    His influence, however, remained a secret until 2017 when he revealed that the jubilee government was created in his house in 2013.

    He disclosed that he hosted both Uhuru and Raila in his house, for the sake of peace in Kenya.

    Wanjigi disclosed the details in a NASA press conference in 2017 after his Muthaiga mansion was raided. He accused the Jubilee government of persecuting him and his family, only because of his political belief.

    Being a government insider who has been a kingmaker over the years, Wanjigi knows the cards to be played for him to clinch the top seat.

    From left: Former President Mwai Kibaki, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto

    4.) Running mate

    To be in government in 2022, the businessman will need to partner with an influential businessman especially because he has been silent over the years.

    "I have known him to be a political kingmaker, I have not known him to be a career politician so I don't know what his following is since he has been a behind-the-scenes operative," Muluka stated.

    So far, it is only Deputy President William Ruto who has declared his interest in the top seat. ODM leader Raila Odinga is yet to announce whether he will be on the ballot or not. Wanjigi has worked with both of these frontrunners before.