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SportPesa CEO joins politics, eyes Nairobi seat

Ronald Karauri is the latest high-profile corporate face to join elective politics.

The flamboyant Karauri, who doubles up as Chief Executive of troubled betting firm SportPesa, has announced his bid to vie for the Kasarani parliamentary seat in the August 2022 polls.

Remembered for changing the face of online betting in Kenya, Karauri announced his candidature at Kasarani Health Centre as he donated equipment to boost maternal health in the constituency.

“As you see me now, there is no work that has ever defeated me, as I enter this race, you can see that I have a proven record of the things I have done,” he said.

Sportpesa presented the equipment to the hospital while urging corporates to support non-profit organizations and the government in improving affordable, quality, and easily accessible maternal health care to all communities across the country especially those in remote areas.

A trained pilot with a decade-plus experience, Karauri’s stint at the helm of SportPesa can at best be described as bitter-sweet.

He oversaw the transformation of the firm into a multi-billion profit-making entity, while bringing on board partners not limited to football sides AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia (in Kenya), Simba and Yanga in Tanzania, Everton and Hull City in England, and Torino in Italy.

Only for SportPesa to lose its trading licence following a tax-row with government in a fallout that saw some of its shareholders deported.