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Bahati regrets dumping Ruto ahead of 2022 polls

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 26th, 2023 2 min read

Kenyan artist Kelvin ‘Bahati’ Kioko says he regrests supporting Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid.

In an appearance on The Chipukeezy show on September 25, 2023, the popular musician also disclosed he financed his campaign independently despite contesting on a Jubilee party ticket.

Jubilee was associated with then-President William Ruto.

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“I was like an independent candidate. I campaigned with my own money. I spent roughly Sh27 million,” he said.

The Adhiambo hitmaker also revealed that President William Ruto secretly supported him despite being on the opposing side during the campaign period. The Head of State was serving as the Deputy President at the time and had fallen out with his then-boss Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Azimio never believed in young people. William Ruto believed in me. He was the first one to know I had an interest in running for the seat, but I don’t know why I didn’t run through his party. The devil is a liar,” Bahati continued.

“I remember when I told President Ruto I wanted to run for the Mathare MP seat; he gave me the first food that I donated in Mathare. He supported me. If I had not run away from Ruto’s UDA, I would be a member of Parliament today. It was the biggest mistake,” Bahati said.

Bahati disclosed he had been assured of a job offer by Mr Odinga in exchange of stepping down in favor of Anthony Oluoch, who ultimately won the seat.

Bahati also addressed an incident during the campaign when he left a rally where Raila was speaking.

He stated,

“I knew he was going to endorse me for the seat on that day. Then, reaching there, Baba (Raila) took the microphone and told me to drop my bid, then would give me a job. I wondered how Raila would give me a job, yet he was also jobless,” Bahati said.

Bahati secured a distant third place in the highly competitive Mathare MP race, with the incumbent Anthony Oluoch of ODM emerging as the winner.

Oluoch garnered 28,098 votes, closely trailed by UDA’s Billian Ojiwa, who received 16,912 votes.

Bahati, representing the Jubilee Party, managed to secure 8,166 votes.

His campaign period at the time was littered with controversy, as he spent most of the time convincing top Jubilee party honchos to allow him to contest.

He was also involved in a consistent online tiff with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) secretary Edwin Sifuna.

The singer has since expressed his ambition to run for the presidency in the 2037 elections.