By Eastern Newspaper Team
The 2022 general elections came with many surprises both at the county and national levels.
For the first time in Kenyan history, a deputy president was successfully elected as President against the will of the predecessor.
President William Ruto beat all odds to become the fifth president of the republic of Kenya a situation that rendered many political heavyweights to political oblivion.
At the county level in the upper Eastern, the UDA wave swept many seasoned politicians and almost killed their political careers and at the same time created new giants as far as regional politics is concerned.
In Meru County, for instance, Kiraitu Murungi, Peter Munya, Kilemi Mwiria, and others found themselves in unfamiliar quarters of the political losers. They are in darkness, they are idle and they are spending sleepless nights strategizing on how to bring back their relevance socially and also politically.
The star of former Meru senator Mithika Linturi is steadily rising after losing his gubernatorial seat o Kawira Mwangaza.
Linturi was appointed a cabinet minister by President William Ruto. Many suitors are calling from all corners in efforts to have their hands held for social and economic prosperity and other favors.
Kathuri Murungi who was a political greenhorn in 2013 has risen to become the third senator of Meru and elected the Deputy Speaker at the Senate.
As Munya and Kiraitu’s phones almost go silent, Linturi’s and Kathuri’s phones are becoming extremely busy with numerous requests from people in all corners of the country. It is human nature that people tend to associate themselves with power and influence. Sometimes it puts food on their tables and other times it is used for social relevance.
Kiraitu Murungi was forced to retire after more than three decades in political power.
This was his first time losing an election; he is yet to come to terms with being at the back in the leadership of Meru and Kenya at large.
The former governor was overconfident that he will be re-elected, and his cronies and friends were also convinced that Murungi can never lose a political contest. The reality is slowly dawning on him and his historical supporters.
The first Meru governor and former Cabinet secretary Peter Munya did not expect to be an ordinary man after the august 20222 polls, people are not sure of his next political move.
Munya had previously lost his political brigade to Kiraitu but they have now both lost.
Meru is hosting many political casualties who are yet to come to terms with the reality.
In the neighboring county of Tharaka Nithi, for the first time in Kenyan history, they are celebrating a powerful cabinet minister in the national government.
First, two-term senator Prof Kithure Kindiki was made the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Interior Affairs and National Administration taking over from the powerful Dr. Fred Matiang’i. The county also re-elected its governor Muthomi Njuki who has become influential in the Kenya kwanza coalition administration.
Njuki is best positioned to grow his position now in Mt Kenya east politics if he does the calculations well. Governor Njuki’s Chief Officer Betsy Muthoni Njagi was also appointed as a principal secretary in President Ruto’s government beating other interested candidates like former Chuka University Vice Chancellor Prof Erastus Njoka.
Former Tharaka Nithi Women Representative Beatrice Nkatha is also out of the current political picture after she opted out of the race as a result of losing in the UDA party primaries. All the other members of parliament were also reelected in Tharaka Nithi.
Embu county voters also dropped their political bigwigs and supported the majority who were considered weak and unknown. Cecily Mbarire despite being a woman married in Teso land was elected as the second governor of Embu taking over from Martin Wambora who unsuccessfully contested for a senatorial seat.
Both Wambora and renowned former Embu senator Njeru Ndwiga were toppled by the little known Alexander Mundigi who became the Senator of Embu. Seasoned politician Lenny Kivuti was also thrown out for the second time. It is not clear what the next move will be for Kivuti, Wambora and Njeru Ndwiga.
Isiolo County has also elected a new governor after the retirement of their second governor Mohamed Kuti who retired from active politics citing health issues. Abdi Guyo was elected as the third governor of Isiolo leaving Mr. Godana Doyo who served as the first governor in political confusion.
The long-serving politician Rehema Jaldesa who tried to defend her seat as the Women Representative also lost to Mumina Bonaya.
In Marsabit Ukur Yattan’s political future is not clear, he hasn’t revealed to his supporters his next move after exiting the government from the Powerful Ministry of Finance. Mohamed Ali was re-elected to serve his second and final term and he is expected to have a leading role in shaping the politics of Marsabit County.
Richard Lesiyampe and Maison Leshomo of Samburu are also nowhere to be found as far as matters of Samburu politics are concerned after losing in the last general elections. The same case applies to Moses Lenolkulal whose term as governor also expired.
All eyes are on these political leaders to see and study their next move. Lenolkulal is expected secure a job from the Kenya kwanza coalition based on a good relationship with President William Ruto although most of the high-profile positions have already been taken.