Since the repeal of section 2A of the old constitution to bring back multiparty politics in Kenya, every general election has brought to the fore peculiar Presidential Candidates taking attention away from the main contenders. Some have been usual faces taking a different strategy to take a chunk of the national votes with popular slogans like “kupita kati kati”.
Others have been very fresh faces with funny quotes and presentations. Still, others coming to the fore to contest for Presidency have received the accusation of sponsorship from one of the major contenders to take a large constituency or chunk of votes from the other major Presidential candidate based on some ethnic arithmetic, an ideological identity, or a narrative.
In 2007, we had one Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka taking this role, with “kupita kati kati” slogan. He ended up taking a large of the Kamba votes that could have been decisive either for the late Hon. Mwai Kibaki or Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga.
In 2012, we had Hon. Musalia Mudavadi take this role after the fallout of a short-lived political deal with Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and Dr. William Ruto. Joining them in the race was the “Internet Presidential Candidate”, one Hon. Peter Kenneth. They both performed dismally in the subsequent results that declared a UhuRuto victory.
In 2017, we had Abduba Dida playing the not-so-serious alternative. With no known political background except as a teacher and advocacy of Polygamy and societal ethics, Abduba Dida vied for Presidency under Alliance for Real Change, rose to fame with funny quotes and anecdotes and got more votes than the public expected.
2022 has not been different, with the IEBC streamlining the rules to take away a large pool of candidates that had declared interest in the Presidency, still one or two got in that would make the 2022 Presidential race memorable, remarkable, and potentially political landscape altering. 2022 has given us George Luchiri Wajackoyah, the 62-year-old long-time diaspora-based Professor who has cut a niche among the electorate as funny, realistic, and potentially dictatorial with somewhat seemingly unpalatable but very realistic governance proposals.
It’s not the first time all Kenyans are hearing the name Wajackoyah. A few politicians and national intelligence leaders have always known who he is. This is his second stab at Presidency after the first try in 2013. He was not much known then. But his persona of 2022 has brought him the much-needed fame and now the scrutiny he is getting, including curiosity from the writer of this article.
He has fond memories of the special branch where he worked as an investigator, under Inspekta James Kanyotu. He is a man that does not view anyone from an ethnic or religious perspective as he has passed through the hands of so many with various ethnic, racial, religious, and spiritual backgrounds.
George Luchiri Wajackoyah was born on 24th October 1959 in Matungu Village, Mumias, Kakamega County in Western Kenya. At the age of four, Wajackoyah’s parents divorced, and his father left for Uganda and remarried. He was described as a witch’s son because his mother delayed giving birth after remarrying, a bad omen to his Luhya community in Mumias, with him being branded as the reason for his mother’s misfortunes, and becoming an outcast. The death of his step-sister during birth made the situation so bad for his mother that she left the village.
He was therefore left with his staunch Roman Catholic Grandparents. At the age of six, he got attacked by a Python while taking care of his grandparent’s cows, molded by the snake, but got rescued from it, with the Python being killed, leaving him with injuries. Because of the circumstances of his early childhood, he was considered a curse and therefore taken to a faraway school to avoid spiritual contamination of the rest of the extended family. This would lead him to contemplate leaving the village to look for his mother, eventually ending up in Busia town where he met the driver of an oil tanker, who brought him to Nairobi.
The long-distance driver, who was to be his host in the city, unfortunately, got hit by a vehicle in a road accident, leaving him with no options for shelter or proper nurturing. Meaning he had to find his own way to survive around Nairobi, becoming a street boy. He would be picked up from the streets in Ngara by the Hare-Krishna Hare-Rama community, who brought him up under Hinduism and gave him the start to what would later become an illustrious academic career.
From Pioneer School, sponsored by Indians, then Minister for Education, Hon. Joseph Kamotho took him as a guardian and sponsored his High School education. He went to St. Peter’s Mumias for his A levels where he got one Principle and three Subsidiaries, which totaled six points, leaving him just short of university qualification by one point and one principle.
He decided to try his luck at teaching while looking for something to do. With no giving up on the University dream, Wajackoyah joined the police and became a constable, hoping to rise through the ranks and sponsor his way through university education.
Years later, President Moi would order that all form six graduates who are in the police force be taken back to Kenya Police College for specialized Inspectorate training. He came back from training and was posted at Pangani and later Kasarani police stations for a long while as an Inspector before joining the Directorate of Security Intelligence, then called Special Branch, under James Kanyotu.
Robert Ouko Murder
Many of us fear talking about this subject, afraid of the consequences even now. But the murder of Robert Ouko in 1990 upended many lives in civil service and flared tempers and ethnic divisions within Kenya. As a young man, growing up in Siaya County, my late mother and maternal grandmother told us stories of the gruesome scenes of “Got Alila” that are still afresh in my memory to date. Even media houses, while Interviewing Wajackoyah, have avoided this issue for their own corporate reasons.
How the body of a senior government official was found, dismembered, and charred with acid is still a mystery to many Kenyans. Many in Luo Land pointed an accusing finger at President Moi’s henchman and fixer, Hon. Nicholas Biwott, or as they then called him, “Total” Man for orchestrating the murder. These accusations were spoken in hush tones and no one ever dared utter such with confidence in public.
Let me categorically state here that I’m not pointing an accusing finger at any individuals over this case. As investigations were done and no formal reports mentioned any guilty party. I’m simply reporting the stories I heard while still a child, in Sirako Village, Uholo North, Ugenya Constituency, Siaya County. The bitterness still comes with the memories, but Luos have learned to forgive. Some part of this case is still in court, so it would be prudent to leave it alone. To add to the fact that those involved either directly or indirectly have chosen reconciliation as part of the healing process.
It was during his time working in the special branch that Professor Wajackoyah was appointed as an investigator by Mr. Kanyotu, then Director of Intelligence, to conduct investigations into the Murder of the cabinet minister. Whatever he discovered during this investigation met resistance and attempts at the cover-up of the whole matter.
Because he could not be part of the cover-up, as there was a change of guard at the helm of the special branch, he was detained, tortured, and as he stressed in the interview with the nation, tortured properly. He could not survive the torture and so he had to be taken to the hospital. He was nearly killed like many of his colleagues because of Hon. Robert Ouko’s murder investigation. Maximum psychological torture included being taken to City mortuary to view dead bodies at night and inhale the stench thereof.
Refugee Status, liberation movements, and grave digging while abroad
His period in exile begins from 1991 to 2012. As a result of detention and torture, the Embassy of the United States of America, through Ambassador Smith Hempstone, working with second liberation luminaries like Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, Hon. Paul Muite, and Hon. Gitogui Imanyara agitated for the release of detainees. It was the effort of Ambassador Smith Hempstone that led to him being smuggled onto a Lufthansa Cargo plane, to Germany on his way to the United States.
Through a series of circumstances, as he was meant to end up in the United States of America, he ended up being retained and seeking asylum in the United Kingdom instead. The dictatorial Moi Regime would send former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the late Ndolo Ayah, to seek his extradition from the United Kingdom to Kenya to come back and face, obviously, an unfair trial. But as he alludes to fate having it, the international media and civil rights activists, like the Times News Paper of London and some tabloids, raised loud their opposition to the move. With Moi fearing the economic repercussions from Western Capitals, including the blockage of grants and loans, Wajackoyah was left alone.
He lived quietly from then on, was given a different name, and taken to a shelter for the homeless in Camden town, where he stayed with the homeless for a while as a cover, that he completely assimilated and not be recognized until it was safe for him to go back to school. He remembers and appreciates particular people like Hon. James Orengo, who collected all the academic evidence and the papers from the various schools he went to, to enable him present qualifications and enroll in the British academic system. He remembers Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga for taking over his story and airing his predicament in Kenyan Parliament.
In order to pay his school fees at the University of Wolverhampton, Holborn College, Wajackoyah had to embark on grave digging and other manual jobs, like being a security guard and a Morgue attendant, operating under an assumed name, George Walker. This is where he finished his first Bachelor of Laws Degree. He would go to many Universities to become a fully qualified scholar and became a foot soldier and protection contingent for the Odinga family and for the second liberation struggle.
While in exile, he joined pressure groups, to put pressure on Kenya to accept authentically democratic liberation and stop human rights abuses against perceived political opponents. As a student leader at the University of London, School of Oriental and African studies, he invited the likes of the late Dr. Dennis Akumu, Hon. Koigi Wa Wamwere, and Dr. Richard Leakey, put pressure on Kenya to respect human rights. The following are part of his other liberation struggles the world over:
- Liberation of South Africa from Apartheid
- Liberation of both Ethiopia and Eritrea
- Liberation of Angola from the Portuguese
- Liberation of some West African countries together with Jerry Rowlings
- Liberation of East Timor from Indonesia
- Liberation of Chiapas from Mexico
- Liberation of South Sudan from Omar Elbashir’s Northern Sudan
With various jobs here and there, involvement in these struggles helped him create a global network among respected leaders that led or supported similar liberation struggles globally.
During his time at Special Branch, the professor received a scholarship to study French for one year at the Kenya Institute of Administration, currently called the University of Nairobi, Lower Kabete Campus. Then got another scholarship to study advanced French at the University of Burundi before circumstances pushed him to spend most of his time in the United Kingdom and the United States where he pursued other academic endeavors. Professor Wajackoyah boasts 17 college certificates, including.
- A Ph.D. from the Walden University
- Post Graduate Diploma at The Kenya School of Law
- Masters in Law (USA law) at the University of Baltimore
- Masters of Law (LLM) at SOAS University of London
- Master of Philosophy at Walden University
- Masters of Law in Law Development at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
- Bachelor of Laws at the University of Wolver Hampton
- Diploma in French at the Kenya Institute of Administration
- Advanced Diploma in French at the University of Burundi
- Economics and Refugee Law at World University Service in the United Kingdom
- Laws of Kenya at Riara University
- Postgraduate Diploma at Maastricht University
- Legal Practice Course LPC at the University of Westminster in The United Kingdom
- Certificate in Comparative Laws at University of London School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS)
- Criminal/Civil Litigation at American Heritage University of Southern California
- Security & Intelligence Studies at CID Training school
- Policing and Criminal Investigation at Kenya Police Training College, Kiganjo.
The revolutionary mind joining Kenyan politics
With such a strong democracy defending Pan African mindset and background, Wajackoyah’s strong feelings for openness and honesty in governance can easily be heard in the way and attitude with which he speaks of the rotten nature of Kenyan governance structures, which has led us down the drain to the worse economic situation we face today.
His background and ingrained mindset of setting things straight in governance, either through military involvement or the popular will of the people, informs the passion and attitude with which he sees the Kenyan situation. In his thinking, we have babysat corrupt leaders for so long and it’s time to take drastic measures that would restore things back to order.
This, therefore, may not be the last time we hear of Professor Wajackoyah. He may be in this struggle for the long haul as he sees Kenya as a victim and an affected host of the cancer of bad leadership which needs radical revolutionary surgery, and quick. He is disappointed that his allies in the second liberation struggle have gone ahead to shake hands with the same corrupt people that have economically and socially raped Kenya, making the struggle almost lose its meaning.
Like Lawyer Dr. Miguna Miguna, if he had the constitutional power today, Wajackoyah would be at the forefront of recommending the death penalty for some individuals and elite family members within the government that have looted Kenya for decades. He would have recommended the thorough scrutiny and cleanup of their accounts, both here and abroad, and brought all the resources that they have stolen back to the country.
For now, since he has no such powers, he has to be patient and tiptoe around these people. How he feels about them has not changed and will never change, but he has to respect their space and work with them for now as the environment is not favorable yet for an executive order or decree to hold them accountable for economically raping Kenya.
Not an internet candidate, not a joker.
In order for the popular will of the people to be sparked and the passion for fighting for justice and democracy reignited among Kenyans, Professor Wajackoyah decided to take on the persona of a revolutionary leader, well accepted by the common man who is far below the economic success radar and who has been a victim of the Kenyan corrupt political elite.
Many for now may dismiss his proposals as a joke, but a keen look into them would reveal the relentless passion of an individual who believes that he can bring Kenya from economic suffering and restore her back to economic independence and progress, if only he got the chance. Some of his proposals may not be popular yet due to the clash with the religious mindset and nature of the people but make clear economic sense if implemented with proper safeguards.
Before his burst onto the scene, this revolutionary thinking had been taken by the Hustler nation, embodied in the United Democratic Alliance Party, led by one of the main Presidential Contenders, Dr. William Samoei Ruto. The Hustler nation’s thinking has been that the elite of Kenya have united together to gate-keep their wealth from the regular suffering Kenyans and to keep benefiting from the corrupt machinery that they have set up in government for decades since independence. But the hustler nation’s narrative or thinking has a major problem, that of the perception of its leader, who was and has been for a long time, one of the main beneficiaries of this corrupt machine, since he joined politics through the Youth for KANU 92 (YK92) group, being picked up by a former President from the University of Nairobi.
While many may have just heard of Wajackoyah but not know him deeply yet, he cannot be compared to Hon. Peter Kenneth as he is more than an internet sensation, he has tapped into the quiet but building anger towards the political and economic elite of Kenya and could use it for future struggles for Kenya. He cannot be compared to Abduba Dida because he has been part of the real struggle for Democracy and economic justice, not just in Kenya, but worldwide. This is a man who understands Kenya’s governance structures deeply and could know the uncomfortable buttons to press if he had the chance to lead this country, to restore Kenya back to economic normalcy.
The honest but uncomfortable conversations Kenyans need to have
Wajackoyah’s rise to political popularity has brought to the fore the underbelly issues that Kenyans have put a bandage on for a long time and now need clear discussion. And they include the following.
Constitutional choke-hold and the Wage Bill: While the fight for the constitution brought Kenya some semblance of freedom and economic justice, especially with the establishment of devolution, this same constitution brought so much unnecessary bureaucracy due to the many perceived safeguards, checks, and balances that came with its design. The installation of so many leadership positions has led to a huge Wage Bill on the taxpayer to the point that many have been calling for a thorough review. Hence the need to simplify it and make it more efficient in handling public policy conflicts.
Corruption and National Debt: The UhuRuto government has done so much borrowing and most of the borrowed funds have been mismanaged in the projects this government has implemented because of inflated budgets and proposals that have been awarded to corrupt cronies and close friends of the administration. Wajackoyah’s calling for the return of the death penalty to convicted corrupt individuals has reminded us of the need to fight corruption and destroy cartels controlling and destroying the Kenyan economy.
Different forests, same monkeys: Professor Wajackoyah to many, is a fresh face, a turn away from the very same faces we have seen exchange roles in government and are now, not a source of encouragement, but boredom to Kenyans. This is one election that may experience the highest level of voter apathy, as it’s the same faces that have led us to this economic turmoil, claiming they can still fix the same problems they have caused.
Neo-Colonialism: It’s unfair that some countries have constantly exploited the Kenyan corrupt systems and have used such weaknesses to implement projects in Kenya at exorbitant prices, in the process, illegally bringing foreign nationals who have taken advantage of locals. Notorious among them is China. This is a conversation the government of Kenya fears having as it has been the recipient of so many heavy loans and investments from these nations. Because of such deals, the port of Mombasa for example is under escrow until all loans are paid. Wajackoyah’s proposal to pay these debts and kick the Chinese out of Kenya reminds us of the growing need for taming neo-colonialism.
It’s about the economy: Inflation, national debt, white elephant projects, high commodity prices, and lack of jobs for the youth have led Kenyans to start thinking that maybe the current crop of leadership can’t solve the problems we have and therefore there’s need for an absolutely radical change of leadership to bring Kenya back from the brink of economic collapse.
Marijuana, Snakes, and Hyenas: While these proposals have received criticism and opposition from some quarters, the context and circumstances surrounding them have been greatly misunderstood by the public, in part, because those who misunderstand the context for their implementation have had the loudest voice, speaking from positions of moral authority, but without proper understanding.
On Marijuana, Wajackoyah speaks of Hemp, the CBD (cannabidiol) version of the plant which has industrial and medicinal benefits. He has expressly repeated, several times, that the THC Version of Cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol), will not be allowed in the country. He has repeatedly expressed that Snakes and Hyenas could be bread in a safe environment and processed for nothing else but export purposes, poison for the snakes, and testicles for Hyenas. Kenyans slaughter cows, goats, and rams every day and therefore process private parts of animals during slaughter, so this would not be much different.
The Federal Republic of Kenya: Wajackoyah has proposed the return of the eight Provinces, but this time, as States, with powers to exercise local tax and only contribute 10% of that tax to the Federal Government, which will be headquartered in Isiolo as the new capital. This will minimize the chances of misappropriation of resources within the corrupt structures of the federal government and have resources really develop the local environment and the people. He has reminded us of the need to de-congest Nairobi, leave it as an industrial city, and relocate the capital city to other environments, his favorite proposal? Isiolo town.
The new work week arrangement: This is one proposal that should be received by every unemployed youth and member of every religion. Wajackoyah proposes four days of work, in a 24-hour economy, with shifts of eight hours each. A single work position employs at least three people instead of one person, dramatically reducing unemployment. Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday will be free for Muslims, Adventists, Hebrews, Catholics, and Evangelicals to have their time of rest.
Employment Welfare: Wajackoyah has repeatedly expressed the need to take care of Government employees with better work conditions and salaries. His concern has been particularly focused on the police and Journalists who have been treated unfairly due to monopoly.
The questionable atmosphere of Kenya’s religious morality
While it’s very alright for religious leaders to raise their voices in concern for the degradation of levels of morality in any society, it is of great importance to note that some of these same religious leaders, men of note, will lead Christians to accept the Mark of the Beast and the false Christ. It’s some of these same religious leaders that will misinterpret the word of God and manipulate scriptures to suit their own twisted ends, misleading innocent men and women to accept doctrines that are not Biblical. It happened during the dark ages; it will happen again.
In response to Wajackoyah’s proposals and candidature, certain religious leaders in Kenya have jumped to arguments, using their pulpits to criticize Wajackoyah for unorthodox and unethical proposals that would make God angry with Kenya and mislead our youth. This has brought into sharp focus the hypocritical nature of Kenya’s religious morality.
Some men of collar and cloth in Kenya stand accused of questionable behaviors that have led many to doubt their sincerity in their assumed devout calls to lead Kenya to God. Some have had cases in court, being accused of heinous crimes, including murder, while others have been accused of receiving bribes, branded as donations, from corrupt politicians, in order to endorse them and lay hands on them, claiming that God is with them and giving out fake prophecies that don’t come to pass.
In the Bible, God revealed to Prophet Jeremiah about these fake prophets just before he was given the vision of the wind from Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. God speaks of these prophets in Jeremiah 14:14, saying, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries, and the delusions of their own minds.”
The Book of Revelation talks about a component of spiritual Babylon called the fake prophets, selling to people a religion that has fake visitation of the Holy Ghost, while using other powers to manifest the same. They fail to see the pluck in their own eye but rush to see the log in other people’s eyes. Kenyan political and social morality has declined at a faster rate than expected due to the hypocrisy of some of these religious leaders. Some of them are no different from the Pharisees of the time of Christ.
Current Kenyan deadlocked political arithmetic
In conclusion, the latest TIFA poll gives Wajackoyah 4% if voting was held today. With the leading contenders of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya and Kenya Kwanza coalitions alternating neck to neck in percentage popularity, a few days to the election, the Wajackoyah factor may not only remain relevant, but critically important as we head towards the polls.
His proposals have captured the attention of the youth who are serious about an authentic economic revolution for Kenya. Even though he is from Western Kenya, his passion, mannerism and public policy proposals appeal to men and women of all ethnicity, age, and religion. He remains a relevant revolutionary figure in the fast-changing landscape of Kenyan politics and may force our society to go back to the drawing board, to adopt solutions that could finally, authentically, liberate Kenya from the current economic crisis.