It is said that the Kenya political scene is dominated by a few individuals who are closely interconnected.
It does not matter whether they win or lose elections, they have a way of remaining in the public limelight, earning a living one way or the other from politics.
There are, however, some who have never lost elections, and if they unlikely lose, they have bounced back swiftly.
Kivumbi.co.ke looks at these renowned politicians who have stalled Kenya’s political scene like a colossus.
Despite being a political activist in his youthful years, Raila Odinga’s first elective seat was in 1992.
He held the Langata constituency parliamentary seat until 2007 when he contested for the presidential seat against Mwai Kibaki.
After losing, Raila Odinga was incorporated into Kibaki’s government as the Prime Minister from 2008-2013.
In 2013 and 2017, he contested the presidency once again, both times, loosing to president Uhuru Kenyatta.
During Uhuru’s 1st term, Raila Odinga acted as the opposition leader, but in the second term, he was incorporated into government through the 2018 handshake.
The ODM party leader is now working closely with president Uhuru, looking forward to shooting one more bullet in 2022.
2. Kalonzo Musyoka
Popularly known as ‘watermelon’ Kalonzo Musyoka has coined himself into several political alignments.
Kalonzo served as the Mwingi North Member of parliament from 1992-2007.
In 2007, he contested for the presidential seat and lost to Mwai Kibaki.
When Kibaki assumed his second term in office in 2008, he appointed Kalonzo as his vice-president.
In the consequent 2013 and 2017 General Election, Kalonzo contested for the presidency once more, this time as Raila Odinga’s running mate.
The duo lost, and in 2020 Kalonzo was appointed by president Uhuru Kenyatta to be Kenya’s special envoy to the republic of South Sudan.
3. Charity Ngilu
She made her political debut by contesting the Kitui Central Parliamentary seat in 1992, which she won.
Five years later (1997) contested the presidency making her the first Kenyan female to run for president.
She was re-elected as the Kitui Central MP in 1997 and consequently, in the 2002 and the 2007 General Election.
In 2013, Ngilu tossed herself into the Senatorial race, but lost the chance to be Kitui’s first ever Senator.
President Uhuru appointed her as the Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing, and Urban Development, which she later resigned in 2015 following corruption allegations.
In 2017, Ngilu clinched the Kitui gubernatorial seat, making history as one of the first female governors in Kenya.
4. William Ruto
The current deputy president stands out as one of the politicians who has never lost an election contest.
He started off as the Member of Parliament for Eldoret North Constituency, a seat he won in the 1997 elections.
Ruto clinched this position during President Moi’s tenure, and the latter also appointed him as the assistant minister in the office of the president in 1998.
In 2002, Ruto maintained the Eldoret North seat, and was moved to the foreign affairs ministry. After the 2007 elections, Ruto won the Eldoret North parliamentary seat once more.
Under president Mwai Kibaki’s second tenure, he was appointed the Minister of Agriculture, and later moved to the ministry of Higher Education.
In 2013 and 2017 elections, Ruto contested as Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential running mate, winning both elections.
5. James Orengo
His political career took shape when he was a law student at the University of Nairobi. Orengo was one of the youngest critics of president Moi’s government.
His first elective post was the Ugenya Constituency seat he clinched in 1980. Orengo served as Ugenya’s parliamentarian upto 2002.
In 2002, he contested for the presidency but emerged number 4, losing the seat to president Mwai Kibaki.
Later on, Orengo went back to Ugenya where he served again as the MP from 2007 to 2013. He later vied for Siaya Senatorial seat, which he has won consecutively in the 2013 and 2017 general elections.
6. Musalia Mudavadi
He served as the 7th vice-president of Kenya for 60 days in 2002.
In 2008, after Kibaki formed the coalition government, Musalia Mudavadi was appointed as the deputy Prime Minister.
Under the Amani National Congress party, Mudavadi vied for presidency in 2013, where he lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, coming a distant third.
He later remained politically active by always taking on the government as one of the opposition chief.
He later teamed up with Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula to form the NASA alliance which contested the presidency but lost to Uhuru Kenyatta and WIlliam Ruto.
Musalia has remained to be politically active in some strange fashion, always fashioning himself as a safe pair of hands if Kenya wants to get a good president.
He is positioning himself to contest for chance to vie for the presidency in 2022 under the One Kenya coalition which brings together Moses Wetangula, Gideon Moi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi.
7. Martha Karua
Martha Karua contested for th Gicugu parliamentary seat for the first time in 1992 and won, leading the constituency until 2013 when she contested for the presidency but lost.
The former magistrate was among the first ever female politicians to be popularly elected to parliament in 1992.
Her tough political stances have kept her in public limelight where she continues to enjoy considerable attention.
In 2017, she vied for the Kirinyaga gubernetorial seat and lost to Anne Waiguru. `She petitioned the loss in court but still lost.
While her 2022 plans are not clear, Karua is surely set to be around the political circles beyond even 2022.
8. Naomi Shabaan
She is calm, without any political controversies, but the longest serving female MP in Kenyan parliament.
Naomi Shabaan was first elected in 2002 as the Taveta constituency Member of parliament. She has held this position up to date, hitting 19 years in parliament.
In 2008 she was appointed Minister of State for Special Programmes, Kenya, later she was reshuffled to the Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs in 2010.
She is currently a member of the Jubilee Party.
9. Oburu Odinga
The elder brother of ODM leader Raila Odinga is also deeply rooted in politics. Oburu Odinga started off as the MP for Bondo Constituency in 1994.
He held this position up to 2007. In 2008, President Kibaki appointed Oburu as the assistant finance minister.
After the 2013 polls, Oburu Odinga got back his Bondo Constituency seat that he held until 2017. In 2017 December Oburu was appointed as the Kenyan member for the Eat African Legislative Assembly based in Arusha, Tanzania.
10. George Khaniri
The ANC member was first elected to represent Hamisi Constituency in a by election following the deminse of his father in 1996.
Barely in his 20s, Khaniri was handpicked by then president Daniel Moi to fly the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party flag in the by election.
He maintained the seat in subsequent elections until 2013 when he successfully vied for the Vihiga senatorial seat, which he holds to date.
Under president Kenyatta’s government, he was appointed the Assistant Minister for Information and Communications.
It is rumoured the long-time politician shall be vying for the Vihiga gubernatorial seat in 2022, which means he shall still be present in Kenya’s political spheres for long.