A graphical representation of politicians whose defections in 2022 paid off.

Written by on 8 December 2022

During the run-up to the August 9, 2022, general election, Kenyans were treated to numerous political defections, with scores of politicians placing their bets on camps they hoped would clinch the presidency.

Political party hoping was the order of the day as seasoned politicians and non-starters sought camps where their interests and those of their communities were safe.

Here are some of the defections that paid off;

Amason Kingi

Former Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi opted out of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition to join President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance in May 2022.

Kingi led his troops out of the Raila-led political formation, citing dishonesty. The former county head accused Jubilee, ODM and Wiper of bulldozing their way against other fringe parties in the coalition.

President William Ruto welcomes Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi to his Kenya Kwanza Coalition. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Kingi’s last-minute defection paid off after President William Ruto rallied his troops in the senate to vote for him as the Senate Speaker. The veteran politician garnered 46 out of 66 votes to become the third Speaker of the Senate after Ekwe Ethuro and Ken Lusaka.

Alfred Mutua

Disgruntled by what he termed as dishonesty and ‘big brother’ syndrome from particular members of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya alliance, former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua led his Maendeleo Chap Chap brigade out of Raila’s camp to Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza coalition.

Mutua and Kingi were received by President William Ruto on the same day and admitted to the formation’s top echelons.

Governor Alfred Mutua, Deputy President William Ruto and other leaders after the signing of the deal with Kenya Kwanza at the DPs Karen residence. DPPS
Alfred Mutua, President William Ruto, and other leaders after defecting to Kenya Kwanza.

The duo signed a pre-election agreement that would see Ruto appoint the former Government spokesperson to a cabinet position.

Upon his ascendancy to power, President Ruto appointed Mutua as his Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary.

Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula

After months of meetings in State House to seal cracks in the defunct NASA coalition, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi decided to chart their own political paths.

The duo defied Uhuru’s overtures to rally behind opposition chief Raila Odinga, citing dishonesty and political conmanship in their broken NASA marriage. Wetangula and Mudavadi joined Ruto’s camp, where they were admitted to the coalition’s top brass and promised plum positions in the event of victory.

True to his words, President Ruto instructed MPs elected on UDA party tickets and tickets of Kenya Kwanza’s constituent parties to vote for Wetangula as the Speaker of the 13th Parliament. The President would later sign a Presidential executive order establishing the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, a position handed to Mudavadi.

Sonko dumps Kalonzo, Azimio coalition and joins Ruto's camp at the last minute
Mike Sonko during his defection to President William Ruto’s camp. PHOTO/Ruto (@WilliamsRuto)Twitter.

Mike Sonko?

After a back and forth with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over his clearance to run for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat on a Wiper Party ticket, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko opted to ditch Raila’s Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party claiming that some characters in the alliance were part of the team that placed stumbling blocks on the path of his quest to succeed Hassan Joho.

Speaking after his defection, Sonko revealed that Ruto had promised to hand him several plum positions in power, including Cabinet Secretaries and Ambassadors.

The President is yet to meet his end of the bargain, though he has fashioned himself as a politician who delivers on promises made to his allies. It is still a wait-and-see if Sonko will receive what he bargained for.

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