While death has robbed the country off several promising and influential politicians, it has on many occasions turned out to be a blessing in disguise to some of the family members of the deceased.
From wives, husbands, brothers, sisters to children, the list is endless. Whether they win the seats on their own or the electorate pick them as a gesture of condolences to the family is another matter altogether.
Kivumbi.co.ke looks at this hereditary type of politics with an analysis of politicians who were elected courtesy of their departed kin and those who have shown interest in this form of inheritance;
- Mutula Kilonzo Junior
The first Senator for Machakos County, Mutula Kilonzo died in 2013, just few months after assuming office.
Immediately, his succession plan took effect and from the turn of events, it was intended that his close relatives take his position in the Senate.
At first, his daughter Kethi Kilonzo was selected to vie for the seat but her dreams were cut short when she failed to meet the requirements to contest.
The High Court ruled that Kethi was not a registered voter, hence not eligible to contest.
This gave room for her elder brother, Mutula Kilonzo Jr to contest the seat under the Wiper party after getting the endorsement of both Raila Odinga (ODM) and Kalonzo Musyoka(Wiper).
After taking over from his father, Mutula Jr has held the position to date, having been re-elected for the second term.
The Makueni Senator has been influential in his position, following the footsteps of his late father who was a brilliant legislator in the Senate.
2. Moses Kajwang
The current Senator for Homabay County is in office following the demise of his brother, Gerald Otieno Kajwang.
Moses Kajwang garnered a landslide victory in February 2015 by-elections after contesting on an ODM ticket and later on re-elected in 2017 General Election.
He was chosen as a prospective candidate after the demise of his brother who died as a result of a cardiac arrest in November 2014.
Contrary to his late brother, Moses Kajwang has a calm personality, with his voice laying low in the Senate chambers and on the outside political arena.
The late Otieno Kajwang was a very vocal politician, a pillar for the ODM party who was well known for his slogan; ‘Bado mapambano’.
The two are also brothers to the Ruaraka MP, TJ Kajwang who showed immense courage by administering an oath to Raila Odinga as the People’s President in 2018.
3. Edith Nyenze
The Member of Parliament for Kitui West Constituency took office after the death of her husband, Francis Nyenze.
In March 2018, Edith was declared the winner of the by-elections held just a few months after her husband had been sworn in as the MP for Kitui West Constituency.
Just after being elected, Francis who had been ailing from cancer walked into parliament for his swearing-in with an oxygen tank.
The frail MP died months later, leading to his wife contesting for the parliamentary seat on a Wiper ticket. Edith is serving her first term as the MP for Kitui West Constituency.
4. Imran Okoth
The Kibra Member of Parliament is in office as a result of the death of his brother, Ken Okoth who succumbed to Colorectal Cancer in July 2019.
ODM party, which has a special attachment to the Constituency fronted Imran as their flagbearer after successful nomination in party primaries.
After a tough face-off with Jubilee’s Mc Donald Mariga, Imran was declared the winner of the by-elections in November 2019.
The repeat elections was a litmus test on the popularity of Raila Odinga in Kibra where he served as an MP for multiple terms before.
5. Yusuf Haji
The newest Senator in town is Garissa’s Abdulkadir Haji. He rose to this position just two months after the death of his father, Yusuff Haji.
Haji, who was the chairperson of the BBI taskforce died in February while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.
His son later on showed interest in succeeding his deceased father. After presenting himself to his kinsmen, clan elders in Garissa agreed to support his ambition.
This led to him contesting for the senatorial seat unopposed, hence a direct nomination by the IEBC.
Young Haji is well known for his role in the 2012 Westgate mall attack where he saved the souls of many innocent Kenyans.
6. Lucy Chomba
The newly elected Member of County Assembly for Huruma ward, rose into the political space after the death of her husband, Peter Chomba.
Both the UDA and the Jubilee Parties showed interest in fronting Lucy as their candidate in the by-election.
And on March 2021, the best suitor, who was jubilee party took the day as Lucy won the contest, taking over her late husband’s roles.
Peter died in October 2020 due to COVID-19 complications.
7. Christabel Murunga and Eugene Ambwere
After the death of Matungu MP, Justus Murunga in November 2020, his wife Christabel and son Eugene declared interest in taking over his role in parliament.
The two announced their intention to vie for the parliamentary seat during the burial of Murunga in December.
However, none of them was successful as an ‘outsider’; Peter Nabulindo won the seat under the ANC Party ticket in march 2021.