August 19, 2022

Since independence, the family of Kenya’s founding president, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta has played an incontestable role in Kenyan politics – the rise of his son, now President Uhuru Kenyatta being a testimony of the background influence retained even after the demise of Mzee Jomo in 1978.

In the now all-familiar politics of succession, the so-called political dynasties – Odinga, Moi and Kenyatta’s – have been grooming heirs to their well-fought-for political positions, with Deputy President William Ruto joining the trio in the formation of a possible fourth dynasty.  Observers opinionate that the Kenyatta family has, however, not been making moves as big as the rest of the gang in preparing family members to inherit the political dividends accumulated over the decades. 

One bet for the Kenyatta’s who has shown promising attempts towards politics is Uhuru’s son Muhoho whose poorly rehearsed 2017 Kiswahili speech made him the butt of many jokes on social media. Other than this public appearance, the young Kenyatta’s seem to have chosen to lead a largely private life. 

Ruto’s son Nick 

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Deputy President William Ruto (right) and his son, Nick Ruto, after he got admitted to the bar in 2019.

The Standard

In the Rift Valley, DP William Ruto’s son Nick has, over the past two years, been following his father’s footsteps with some interesting inroads including visiting former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ‘strongholds’ in line with Ruto’s dream to occupy the State House in 2022.

In September 2019, Kipkurgat attended a tournament in Mombasa that was organised by the region’s businessman and politician, Mohamed Abdalla, who is reported to be eyeing the Jomvu parliamentary seat in 2022.

On Sunday, October 6, the trained lawyer held a fundraiser in Siaya, Raila’s backyard, where he donated Ksh250,000 and together with others, raised Ksh800,000 for the church.

Political analyst Herman Manyora argues that Kipkurgat’s actions were part of a plan by his father to win in 2022.

Raila’s son and daughter

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ODM Party leader (Right) and his son Junior Odinga in Meru on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga (Right) and his son Junior in Meru on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Twitter

Raila, on the other hand, has given his daughter Winnie Odinga and son, Raila Junior, platforms to gain their own political credibility by attending political rallies graced by the former premier.

It is also telling that Raila Junior has attended almost all Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) events across the country spearheaded by his father beginning in Kisii County on January 10, 2020. He has also been vocal on social media defending the ODM party and warding off attacks against Odinga. 

When the question was posed to him whether he was seeking to pursue a career in politics however, Raila Junior bluntly stated that he was not ready to venture into that wing. 

“People have been pushing and expecting me to take over but I do not have such plans for the near future. I will not be vying for any seat in the 2022 elections,” he told Radio Jambo in 2019.

Manyora, believes that Winnie is most fronted Odinga to pursue politics as a full-time political career.

“For Raila, the heir apparent is Winnie Odinga,” Manyora curtly told this news site.

Raila’s eldest daughter, Rosemary Odinga, also threw her heart in the political ring after her return from treatment making an attempt to succeed the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth in November 2019.

Her stint was, however, shortlived after she dropped out of the race due to medical reasons. 

“It is following my doctor’s advice that for the time being, I will continue serving my community in other capacities and regrettably bow out of the race for Member of Parliament,” she stated at the time.

Her sister Winnie has, on the other hand, been globetrotting alongside their father in a move interpreted as her showing interest to join elective politics. 

In his trip to the United States alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta, African Union envoy Raila Odinga tagged his daughter Rosemary Odinga along as they attended the National Prayer Breakfast.

Kalonzo’s son in EALA

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Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and his son Kennedy Musyoka at a past event.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and his son Kennedy Musyoka at a past event.

Twitter

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is also making inroads into the political succession game with the first move being the nomination of his son Kennedy to East African Legislative Assembly (Kenya Chapter).

In June 2017, Kennedy explained that his father’s party sent him to the assembly to deputise former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua owing to his skills in consultancy and strategy development.

“I have been consulting for Wiper Party for a while, something I immensely enjoy. I have been making my own contribution in strategy and I believe that is how I ended up with the nomination,” he explained at the time.

In Uhuru’s household, however, no heir has been fronted so far but Manyora observes that the first family’s style of politics is unparalleled explaining that only one powerful figure can emerge from a household at a time.

Manyora argues that Uhuru is too young to retire based on the political talk around the country and that, historically, Kenyattas often groomed heirs in private.

“Uhuru has a very serious young man. Uhuru has two sons, one of them is an artist and the other is in politics. When Uhuru was in Uganda, there was a picture that emerged of his son with Uganda’s first lady, it explains why Uhuru went with that boy.

“For Raila it is Winnie, not anybody else, Kalonzo has a son in Eala and Ruto has a young man called Nick. Uhuru is there but the family always operates in shadows. When Kenyatta died, the Kenyatta family operated in the shadows until 1997 when Moi brought Uhuru to the limelight,” he remarked.

“Don’t forget that Uhuru is relatively young and is the one with the power now. Uhuru’s son can only emerge after he has left and there is talk that Uhuru is going nowhere so how can you bring somebody else?” he later wondered.

Do you think the Kenyatta family is destined for a backseat in the country’s politics after Uhuru exits?

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