Six Kenyan politicians whose close relatives have been making headlines
With the evolution of social media, ordinary people now have access to the lives of famous people who were often a mystery to their larger audiences. Now, things have changed and these famous people can’t wait to serve out all the details regarding their lives and works to the public instead of enjoying being sought like before. Welcome to the age of social media.
In Kenya, this used to be our politicians. We only knew as much as national broadcasters could tell us about them. Now, however, the clean and dirty details about their lives are strewn all over social media for the whole world to see.
Below are six politicians whose relatives made top headlines and took away attention from their political achievements to discussions such as who is being intimate with whom and how nepotism is the order of the day among leaders who promised fairness and equality to all Kenyans.
1. President William Ruto – The head of state’s daughter, Charlene Ruto, has been making headlines with some faux pas and some good initiatives. Charlene has been taking up roles ideally that should be taken up by elected or appointed senior government officials, including holding high profile meetings with various county leaders and attending international summits.
This week Charlene claimed she holds the Office of the First Daughter but was later forced to clarify that hers is a private office and not one anchored in the Kenyan constitution. Some have accused her of enjoying the privileges of being the President’s child and enjoying tax payers’ money for a nonexistent office.
She also made headlines for pledging to import flour into the country via her Charlene Ruto Foundation to feed the hungry in various slums across the country as well as translate international agreement documents into local sheng slang so that Kenya’s youth can understand decisions made and how they would impact them.
2. Raila Odinga – Winnie Odinga, the youngest daughter of ODM party leader, Raila Odinga, was nominated to the East African Legislative Assembly for the first time following the August 2022 General Election.
Despite her father coming in a close second in the presidential race, Winnie’s nomination and potential was overshadowed by claims that she was a “dynasty baby” whose father was also paving the way for her without her having to struggle for anything.
Critics also cheered her sarcastically, saying at least there was someone in the Odinga family who had won an election. But Winnie brushed off the criticism, saying she has always worked for everything she has despite being the daughter of a statesman.
3. Kalonzo Musyoka – Just like Winnie Odinga, Kennedy Kalonzo, the son of the former Vice President, was once again nominated by Kenyan Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly for a second term. Despite his credentials speaking for him, the conversation focused on how he was Mr Musyoka’s son and was only enjoying senior government positions because his father was forcing doors to open for him.
4. Governor Kawira Mwangaza – The impeached Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s troubles started with accusations of nepotism from Members of the County Assembly. These accusations were supported by the fact that first – in the first few days after being sworn in – she appointed her husband, Murega Baichu, as the Youth Patron and Hustler’s Ambassador in a move that angered the MCAs. She also appointed her two sisters as her closest aides- one of them as her bodyguard.
The governor’s husband, on his part, made headlines with claims that he was being prevented from sleeping with his wife at the Governor’s official residence. He wondered why he was enduring such when the wives of male governors faced no such problems. There even claims that he had been barred by the MCAs from accessing his wife’s official residence.
On Wednesday, things took a dramatic twist with Governor Mwangaza being impeached after just 112 days in office. All MCAs present at the assembly voted unanimously to have Ms Mwangaza removed from office for gross misconduct, abuse of office and gross violation of the constitution and county laws.
5. Senator Karen Nyamu – Popular vernacular singer Samuel Muchoki, who is better known by stage name Samidoh, has been making headlines for his flirtatious relationship with nominated Senator Karen Nyamu with whom he has two children. This continues to disappointingly take the conversation away from Ms Nyamu’s political work as focus is always on whom she’s being intimate with, which woman is in Samidoh’s life – including his wife – that she’s attacking on social media and how vulgar she can get in defense of their illicit relationship.
Samidoh, on the other hand, has been the butt of jokes and vitriol for failing to control the fights over him by the women in his life as he continues being accused of loving female attention and not focusing on making his music bigger than it already is.
On the flip side, Ms Nyamu’s first baby daddy, DJ Saint Kevin, also recently made news. In a previous report by Nairobi News, the DJ revealed that at some point, his relationship with Nyamu became too difficult to handle because she could not cope with female fans swarming around him in the club during his performances.
“Being a DJ means one is constantly interacting with women. A female fan may come on stage and peck you on the cheek as she requests a song and Karen would not tolerate that. Even if she wouldn’t cause drama at the event, once you get into the car unasomewa mbaya (she would quarrel me and read the riot act),” DJ Saint said.
6. Senator Oburu Oginga – The Siaya Senator, who is the elder brother of ODM party leader Raila Odinga, early this week went on social media to campaign for his granddaughter, Gizel Zilpa, who is seeking the Miss Mbita 2022 crown. He urged his followers to vote for Zilpa who is already a front runner in the beauty pageant.
But the veteran politician’s vote-hunting mission was met with mixed reactions; some asked for the 21-year-old Zilpa’s hand in marriage, others voted for her and while several others wondered why the Odinga family was always asking for votes.