Tycoons, Veteran Politicians Dominating Nairobi Gubernatorial Race [LIST]

  • A file image of City Hall in Nairobi County.
    A file image of City Hall in Nairobi County.
  • As the country heads to the polls in eight months, various veteran politicians and business people have declared interest in succeeding incumbent Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu.

    A contest is expected in the city as the candidates have already aligned themselves with Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's camp.

    Here is a list of veteran politicians and business tycoons who have declared interest in the gubernatorial seat.

    A collage image of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja (Left) and Businesswoman Agnes Kagure (Right).
    A collage image of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja (Left) and Businesswoman Agnes Kagure (Right).

    1. Johnson Sakaja

    Sakaja has served as the Senator of Nairobi since 2017 after he was elected on the Jubilee party ticket. 

    Before joining the Senate, the ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta was nominated to the National Assembly in 2013 after serving as the Chairman of The National Alliance (TNA) party.

    In recent months, the senator has become a close confidant of Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi and even addressed the media during the first press conference of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA). However, the senator is yet to make clear the party through which he will contest the seat.

    In a poll released by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA) research on December 15, it was revealed that the senator was leading in the race at 30 percent.

    2. Anne Kagure 

    While launching her gubernatorial bid on January 7 at the Kasarani Stadium Gymnasium, the businesswoman stated that she would join the hotly contested race stating that she was better placed to replace Kananu.

    Kagure is not new to Nairobi politics as she was among the candidates shortlisted in 2019 by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko as potential replacements of former Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe.

    Despite not declaring her party of choice, the businesswoman stated that she will vie for the seat through Raila's Azimio la Umoja coalition. Since the handshake in 2018, Kagure has been an ardent supporter of the former premier's presidential bid occasionally accompanying Raila to his political visits to the Mt.Kenya region.

    The business tycoon currently runs the Agnes Kagure Kariuki Foundation - an organisation that offers assistance to the needy.

    3. Richard Ngatia

    Ngatia currently serves as the President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and has been a close confidant of Uhuru.

    During the Azimio event at Kasarani on December 10, the business tycoon hinted that he would contest for the seat in 2022. Ngatia has also been a close confidant of Raila after the handshake between the ODM leader and Uhuru.

    Ngatia heads Megascope Healthcare Ltd, a company that ventures in hospital design, construction, and maintenance of high-end hospital machines. Additionally, the billionaire has interest in the hospitality industry. 

    Megascope Healthcare Limited head Richard Ngatia
    Megascope Healthcare Limited head Richard Ngatia.

    4. Bishop Margaret Wanjiru

    Bishop Wanjiru has in the recent past indicated that she would vie for the gubernatorial seat through the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

    The former Raila ally is not new to city politics as she was elected as the Starehe MP on an ODM ticket and was appointed the Assistant Minister for Housing in the grand coalition government.

    Following her exit from parliament, Wanjiru joined the Jubilee party where she contested for the party’s ticket for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat but lost for Sonko.

    Wanjiru is the presiding bishop of the Jesus is Alive Ministries based in Nairobi. 

    5. Timothy Wanyonyi

    The outgoing Westlands MP is seen to be the favourite to clinch the ODM party ticket for the gubernatorial seat after Raila's wife Ida Odinga endorsed his candidature.

    During the launch of the gubernatorial bid, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna revealed that Raila personally gave him his chopper so that he could attend the event adding that the former premier thinks highly of the MP.

    "I was with the party leader in Mombasa as we are currently popularising the Azimio la Umoja in the coastal region. However, in the morning, he gave me his own chopper directing me to come to this function because it is important," Sifuna revealed.

    Wanyonyi, who is senator Wetangula's younger brother, will battle it out with Makadara MP George Aladawa who previously indicated that he is interested in the seat.