Meet Kenyans Who Wanted to Be President but Went Silent

  • From Top Left: Past presidential aspirants Abduba Dida, Nazlin Omar, Nixon Kukubo, and Prof. James Ole Kiyapi.
    From Top Left: Past presidential aspirants Abduba Dida, Nazlin Omar, Nixon Kukubo, and Prof. James Ole Kiyapi.
    File
  • Kenyan presidential elections have in the recent past been dubbed as a two-horse race with prominent politicians taking lead in the race to State House.

    However, little is known of the many contestants who have offered themselves to serve Kenyans. Most often than not, they are referred to as minnows in the highly contested race.

    Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at some of the presidential candidates in past elections even as political temperature in the country rise.

    Nazllin Omar 

    A file image of presidential hopeful Nazlin Omar.
    A file image of presidential hopeful Nazlin Omar.
    File
    Nazlin Omar

    Nazlin Omar rose to the political scene when she contested for the presidency in 2007 on a Workers Congress Party of Kenya ticket. She emerged sixth in the highly contested elections after garnering 8,624 votes.

    During an interview with Kenyans.co.ke, Omar revealed that she has been out of the political scene due to challenges that she has faced over time. Omar revealed that she did not get clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in 2013 for lack of a certificate of good conduct.

    “There was a blackout, I was apprehended in 2013, I was going to be a candidate. At the eleventh hour, the IEBC noted that I did not have a certificate of good conduct,” she revealed.

    Later in 2017, the presidential candidate got into a heated exchange with the IEBC chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, after her name was missing from the voters' register.

    “You can remember the argument Chebukati had with me. The certificate of good conduct was given but they removed my name from the voters’ system. So that is what happened to me in 2017,” the presidential candidate stated.

    In the interview, Omar revealed that she will contest for the Presidency in 2022. However, she noted that many female aspirants face intimidation in their quest to lead the country, further affirming her desire to lead the country.

    When questioned on her whereabouts, the presidential hopeful disclosed that she was engaged in different projects across the country and rebranding herself even as she prepares herself for the elections.

    “My funds go to the communities. They go to build the nation through community-based projects for youth organizations among others. I have a global personality and a global persona to maintain and I have been busy with agendas such as HIV/AIDS, peace, and global anti-terror work,” she disclosed.

    James Ole Kiyapi  

    2013 Presidential aspirant Prof. James Ole Kiyapi addressing a function
    2013 Presidential aspirant Prof. James Ole Kiyapi addressing a function
    File

    Prof Kiyiapi contested for the presidency in 2013 on the Restore and Build Kenya (RBK) party ticket. The former Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education garnered 40,998 votes in the elections and emerged seventh in the polls that had attracted eight presidential candidates.

    During an interview with a local newspaper after the elections, the professor lamented that Kenyans consistently voted in leaders who were not qualified for the topmost job in the country.

    “I am hoping that the Kenyan people will elect very credible leaders so that in the next five years we will embark on a serious business of aligning the laws as per the Constitution,” Kiyiapi lamented

    The Professor served as a PS in the Ministry of Environment, Health, and Education during President Mwai Kibaki’s administration from 2006-2012.

    Abduba Dida 

    Dida made entry into the political scene in 2013 when he vied for the presidency on an Alliance for Real Change (ARK) party ticket. In the same year, the literature teacher cum politician caught the attention of Kenyans with his comic responses during the 2013 Presidential debate. 

    Dida emerged fifth in the election having garnered 52,848 votes. His performance in the polls was commended by many Kenyans who believed that the teacher would make a formidable candidate in the future. In the elections, he beat seasoned politicians such as Martha Karua and Paul Muite.

    In 2017, Dida contested again for the presidency and garnered 38,029 votes. However, the election results were nullified by the supreme court after the Raila Odinga-led coalition, NASA, petitioned the results.

    He previously taught English Literature and Religion at Lenana School and Daadab Secondary School at the refugee camp. Since the 2017 elections, Dida has been active on social media, occasionally voicing his opinion on issues that are affecting the country.

    A file image of 2017 presidential candidate Abduba Dida
    A file image of 2017 presidential candidate Abduba Dida
    File

    Nixon Kukubo 

    Kukubo is an ex Kenya Defence Forces officer. In 2001, he joined active politics after leaving the military and registered his own political party, the Republican Party of Kenya(RPK). Kukubo vied for the presidency in 2007 on an RPK party ticket.

    During the hotly contested elections, which attracted nine presidential candidates, Kukubo emerged ninth having garnered 5,927 votes. 

    In an Interview with Kenyans.co.ke, the ex-military officer explained that he decided to shelve his ambitions in 2017 in favour of other presidential hopefuls from the Luhya community. However, he expressed that he was disappointed that none of them decided to go for the top seat.

    “I decided to leave it for them (Mudavadi and Wetang'ula)  to see whether one of them would have come up and gone for the seat...it has been close to a decade and I can see that if we continue in the same way we are likely to miss a candidate from the region,” he stated.

    Kukobo further revealed that he will be going for the top seat in 2022 with his newly formed political outfit, the Tumaini Party of Kenya (TPK). He stated that the party is in the process of being fully recognised by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP).

    2022 presidential hopeful Nixon Kukubo in his music video on August 9, 2019
    2022 presidential hopeful Nixon Kukubo in his music video on August 9, 2019
    YouTube

    When queried on his whereabouts, the former soldier stated that he has been working on his music career. In 2019, the guitarist released an album of six songs on his YouTube channel and is planning on releasing another one even as the country heads to the polls next year.

    Pius Mwiru

    In 2007, Bishop Pius Muiru hit the headlines after he declared that he would vie for the presidency. In the elections, Muiru emerged fifth having garnered 9,667 votes.

    The televangelist had contested for the top seat on a Kenya People's Party (KPP) ticket. He managed to beat four other candidates including veteran politician Kenneth Matiba.

    Since then, the evangelist has kept a low profile and focused more on his calling as a clergyman. Muiri is the  founder of the Maximum Miracle Centre in Nairobi 

    During an interview on KBC on October 6, presidential hopeful Reuben Kigame revealed that the evangelist had endorsed his candidature stating that Muiru had made great strides in the political arena.

    "Muiru called me to his church and told me that he tried. He told me that he started at gear one and that I should take it to gear two," Kigame stated.

    David Ng’ethe

    Ng’ethe vied for the presidency in three consecutive elections. He first contested for the seat in 1997 on an Umma Patriotic Party of Kenya (UMMA) ticket and garnered 3,526 elections. In the elections, Ng’ethe emerged last out of the 15 contestants. 

    In the following elections in 2002, the veteran politician made a comeback garnering 10,0061 votes having vied on the Chama Cha Umma (CCU) party ticket. He came fourth in the elections after Siaya Senator James Orengo.

    In the hotly contested 2007 General election, Ng’ethe garnered 5,976 votes having vied on a CCU ticket. Before vying for the presidency, Ng’ethe served as a Member of parliament for Karandara Constituency from 1981-1983 after the High Court nullified the Parliamentary election results. In the 1981 by-election, he was elected on a KANU party ticket.

    After his third attempt at the presidency, the former legislator has maintained a low profile, and little is known of his whereabouts.

    A collage of Televangelist Pius Mwiru(Left) and David Ng'ethe (Right)
    A collage of Televangelist Pius Mwiru(Left) and David Ng'ethe (Right)
    File