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REVEALED: How Uhuru inner circle preferred Sakaja for president in 2013

By Wangu Kanuri December 27th, 2022 2 min read

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has opened up on the behind-the-scenes intrigues leading to the 2013 polls, including a suggestion he was considered as an alternative if Uhuru Kenyatta failed to contest for the presidency.

As the chairman of the Alliance Party (TNA) which the retired Head of State used to vie for the presidency, Sakaja was one of the key men leading former president Kenyatta’s campaigns as he prepared a stab at the presidency.

He told Citizen TV the former Head of State severally considered dropping out of the presidential contest amid challenges of juggling between the campaigns and his case at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Former president Kenyatta reportedly referred to Musalia Mudavadi primed as his alternative.

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“Even the system then was not for him (Uhuru), I remember him having to give up and he went and picked Musalia Mudavadi to be the candidate and we said ‘No. We took delegates to Multimedia University…in fact, I did not know how to pay for them, but that is the day I became a politician…I sang ‘mambo ya boardroom tumekataa kabisa’ and I was wearing a yellow tie that day and he [Uhuru] came back’.”

Sakaja further says there was a time he was propped up as an alternative to the former president.

The governor wonders why the former president would elect to politically ‘betray’ him, years later.

“I miss Uhuru Kenyatta as a friend, our journey was very long, and politics divided us. I have respect for him. I remember the day we sat down and said ‘You can be president’ and I did a presentation in Muthaiga at Jomo Gecaga’s house, I was with Anne Waiguru, Anthony Kihara, and a young man called Marvin,” he said.

From the presentation, Sakaja shares that Kenyatta enquired whether he was certain of the numbers and then went on to call his brother. “He (Uhuru) called his brother and they stood outside in the rain for an hour and he came back and said ‘you know what, I am ready.’ But in the time he had taken, Anne Waiguru and Anthony were so upset they told him ‘my friend if you are not ready we have another candidate, this Sakaja will be our candidate’ and he said ‘No, give me my 10 years’ and it was a journey.”

Fast forward to ten years later, and Sakaja became nominated MP, Nairobi Senator, and current governor.

Jomo Gecaga, Uhuru’s nephew, who hosted the meeting between Uhuru, Sakaja, and Waiguru became the president’s PA for almost a decade until they reportedly fell out.

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