Wajackoyah: From Raila's Bouncer to Bhang Advocate on the Edge of History

  • Presidential candidates George Wajackoyah (left) and Raila Odinga
    Presidential candidates George Wajackoyah (left) and Raila Odinga.
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  • When he announced his presidential run, lawyer George Wajackoyah, who is only among four approved to contest for the seat, jumped into the Kenyan political space as some sort of newly minted celebrity with unconventional promises.

    Contesting under the Roots Party of Kenya, Wajackoyah is well known for his advocacy for legalising the use of medicinal marijuana, which he argues will create employment as well as lead to medical advancement.

    He also, albeit controversially, promised that he would work towards reducing the country's official working week from five days to just 4, Monday to Thursday, in turn extending the weekend.

    Since his public announcement, some political quarters have termed sections of his manifesto unattainable but the former National Intelligence Service (NIS) officer is convinced that his political prowess is apt in aiding him to carry out his mandate.

    Professor George Wajackoyah, Senator Ledama ole Kina's (Narok) lawyer speaks outside National Cohesion and Integration Commission offices on Tuesday, February 25, 2020
    Professor George Wajackoyah, Senator Ledama ole Kina's (Narok County) lawyer speaks outside National Cohesion and Integration Commission offices on Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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    In a recent interview, the durag-wearing politician noted that he worked as former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's foot soldier while he was exiled in London.

    At the time of his exile, Raila was Lang'ata Member of Parliament and moved a motion in Parliament seeking to protect Wajackoyah's rights.

    "I am also thankful to Raila Odinga. That particular time he was an MP for taking over the story and going to Parliament to table it. 

    "When I finished my Bachelors degree, I became a foot soldier of Raila's father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, when he came to be treated for his eyes. That is when we became custodians of Raila Odinga whenever he came to London," stated Wajackoyah.

    "Sir David Steel, who is now Lord Still, the leader of Liberal Democrats, actually made a ring for us to follow Raila to make sure that he was not attacked. So Raila owes me a lot and I respect him a lot on that one," he added.

    He also noted that Siaya Senator, James Orengo, played a pivotal role in ensuring that he enrolled to study Law at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom.

    "I would like to thank James Orengo and Mr Ward, the father of Julie Ward, for playing a critical role in sending my papers from schools here to enable me to go to school.

    "Orengo is a great man. He is one of those people I will mention wherever I go as a great man of honour," he added.

    Prior to his exile, where he changed his name to George Walker to disguise his identity, Wajackoyah had joined the Police Service as a constable, roughly at the time as the current Deputy Inspector General of Police, Edward Mbugua. He worked at Kasarani before moving to then National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS) where he served as a director.

    After going through seasons of torture owing to the sensitive nature of his job, the presidential contestant also has unconventional ideas on how he wants his government to be.

    He has promised to create eight Prime Minister positions and suspend the Constitution for six months to allow people to dictate what they would like to see included in the document. The funds raised from the sale of marijuana, he explained, will be used to clear the country's loans.

    He has worked as a human rights activist and taught law and economics as well as international law in universities across Kenya, US and the UK.

    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
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    Sabina Chege