There are at least 20 governors retiring in 2022 with a few having declared interest in other elective seats. Others have opted to hang around presidential hopefuls in the hope of getting state appointments.
Unlike their counterparts serving their first term, these listed county chiefs are serving the second and last constitutionally allowed term as county bosses.
The governors retiring in 2022 are sure to be in the political cold for at least five years before seeking a similar seat unless they opt to vie for the senate, MCA, MP, or presidential seat in the 2022 General Election.
Some like thise of Machakos, Murang’a Kakamega, and Mombasa appear to be angling to take a stab at the presidency as they strive to remain politically relevant after 2022.
Below is the list of 20 governors retiring in 2022, having served two 5-year-terms;
- Hassan Joho
The ODM deputy party leader had earlier expressed interest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta but has since gone silent in recent months.
His supporters were expecting his party leader Raila Odinga to bank on him as his running mate, but the chances are slim considering how strategic his party leader Raila Odinga has to be heading into 2022 having fallen out with former NASA co-principals.
As it becomes evident Raila might be on the presidential ballot in 2022, Hassan Joho has not featured anywhere close to the ODM leader and it remains to be seen if he is a good choice for presidential running mate.
If the seasoned politician will not bet wisely ahead of the 2022 General Election, his political career is likely to take a break until 2027.
2. Wycliffe Oparanya
Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya has been the talk of the day in the past few months when it was alleged he was planning to work with Deputy President William Ruto..
Ruto had confirmed meeting Oparanya not once but five times and that the ODM deputy party leader had the interests of the hustlers at heart.
It was then suspected that William Ruto was looking for someone to bank on to get a slice of the vote-rich Mulambe nation.
However, if Oparanya will bet wisely, he could be lucky, otherwise, he will be headed home earlier than expected after the General Election.
He was first elected into office in 2013 and reclaimed the seat in 2017.
He had also expressed interest in vying for the presidency through an ODM ticket but only if Raila Odinga would not vie.
But with Raila evidently going for the top seat, it is clear Oparanya might settle for a state appointment as he waits to bounce back perhaps vying for the gubernatorial seat in 2027.
3. Amason Kingi
Amason Kingi is among coast leaders trying to form a political party to represents the interest of the coast region, a move that has resulted in him being kicked out of the Orange Democratic Movement’s leadership position.
The Kilifi Governor’s 2-terms as governor is expected to end in August 2022 and like many of his colleagues, it does not appear like he will vie for any other higher seat but go into political oblivion, at least for 5 years.
He has hitherto been a dependable member of ODM, having popularised the party in his county to the extend all elective seats in the 2017 General Election went to the Raila Odinga -led party.
He has not made public any intention to vie for any elective seat in 2022.
4. Alfred Mutua
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who is also Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader, has been at the helm of Machakos County for the last 9 years.
With less than 12 months to the next General Election, the former government spokesperson has on several occasions expressed his ambitions to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, the chances of him taking over from Uhuru look slim due to the fact that Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka who has tried before may be interested in the country’s top job hence divide the Ukambani support base.
He will have to battle it out with seasoned politicians like ODM party leader Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto, and principals of One Kenya Alliance Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya).
5. Josphat Nanok
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok’s time is coming to an end in 2022.
The former Odinga’s die-hard is slowly shifting his support to Deputy President William Ruto ahead of the next General Election to ensure he remains relevant even after the election.
Just like other governors in their second term, Nanok seems to be banking on Ruto who is believed to be gaining popularity day by day and could easily ascend to power.
Whether or not William Ruto fails to win the residency in 2022, Nanok might still find a place to hang in and remain politically relevant until 2027 where he can try to vie again.
6. Kivutha Kibwana
Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana’s second and final term at the helm is coming to an end, having survived a tumultuous first term as governor between 2012-2017.
He is expected to hand over the County in 2022.
It is not clear whether or not Kibwana will join Kalonzo Musyoka and Alfred Mutua of Machakos to add up to the long list of political bigwigs eyeing the country’s presidency.
Kibwana, who initially opposed the constitution amendment plan through BBI, made a U-turn to support it after a high consultative meeting with over 60 Members of the County Assembly from the Ukamabani region.
Unless he declares interest in a different elective seat in 2022, the good professor is looking at political obscurity for the next five years after the 2022 general Election.
7. Jackson Mandago
Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago is among the youngest governors in Kenya having captured the seat in his first attempt at elective politics.
Heb is one of the few young leaders who are expected to remain in Kenyan politics for decades to come.
However, his relevance will mainly depend on who he will bet to work with ahead of the next General Election.
Here, Mandago will have to choose between vying for other elective seats or align himself to one of the presidential candidates keeping in mind that he may be rewarded a plum state appointment.
If he aligns with a team that will lose, then his relevance would have come to an end in August 2022.
8. Martin Wambora
Embu Governor Martin Wambora has for the last two terms shown to be the strongest of all governors. His influence has seen him rise to the position of the Chairman of the Council of Governors.
Wambora, who has survived several impeachment attempts will have to finally step down from the county’s helm in August 2022 when his constitutional time lapses.
Unlike other few governors who have expressed their interest to realign and make alliances with other bigwigs ahead of 2022, Wambora has not made any statement.
9. Salim Mvurya
The Kwale governor Salim Mvurya joins the long list of other governors whose terms of service will be expiring in August 2022.
The governor recently held a meeting with other coastal governors serving their final term on the way forward, including an attempt to form a political party to serve the interests of coast residents.
The silent politician has not declared interest in any other elective seat but has been seen to gravitate towards Uhuru Kenyatta and his preferred successor Raila Odinga as a way of guaranteeing himself political relevance after 2022.
10. Okoth Obado
Unlike other county bosses, Migori governor Okoth Obado has publicly declared war against his party boss Raila Odinga.
The ODM-elect county chief recently outlined plans to ditch Railas’s camp and form his own political vehicle that will guarantee him political relevance in the Nyanza region even after 2022.
He recently aligned himself with William Ruto and this could be his strategy of remaining in the limelight when his term expires.
The governor is currently battling a tricky criminal case after being arrested and charged following the gruesome murder of Sharon Otieno, a lady with home the governor previously had an affair with.
11. Patrick Khaemba
Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba is yet to assure his supporters of his next political move ahead of the much-anticipated 2022 General Election.
A low-lying Khaemba gave the Ford Kenya Party their only Gubernatorial post in the 2017 General Election, having first won the seat on the same party.
He won the seat as a total outsider who had not been active in politics before and it remains to be seen what is his plan for remaining politically relevant after 2022.
Kiminini Member of Parliament, Chris Wamalwa is one of the strong Ford Kenya politicians who has shown interest in succeeding Khaemba.
12. Ali Roba
Governor Ibrahim Ali Roba is the first county chief for Mandera having been elected on William Ruto’s party United republican Party that was later collapsed to form Jubilee party.
As a politician, the professional pilot has survived several attempts on his life including one in which suspected terrorists ambushed his convoy.
Some of his bodyguards did not survive the attack.
Captain Roba, as he is popularly known, is a pilot with an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). He is an instructor and Examiner. He is a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Approved Instrument Rating Examiner, A Training and Check pilot as well as Ground Instructor of various aviation-related subjects.
Like many others, he has not shown interest publicly in any other elective seat and as such, it is believed he will be content with being off the limelight after the expiry of his term next year.
13. James Ongwae
James Ongwae, formally known as James Elvis Omariba is the current governor of the Kisii county government.
He is a member of the Orange Democratic Movement. He is vocal and if he bets well, he might be celebrating after the August 2022 General Election.
He has been gravitating towards his party leader Raila Odinga and if all goes well and the ODM leader becomes president in 2022, people like Ongwae could be gifted plum state jobs, thus keeping them in the limelight post-2022.
14. Cyprian Awiti
Cyprian Achilaus Otieno is the governor of Homay Bay county. He is yet to make public his other political interests as the race to succeed him in Homa Bay gathers steam.
His position is now eyed by strong politicians such as former Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero and the Homabay Woman Representative, Gladys Wanga.
He is considered a key financier of ODM leader Raila Odinga and it might not be a surprise to still see him in the limelight after 2022 if Raila is declared winner of presidential elections.
15. Sospeter Ojamong
Sospeter Odeke Ojamong is a seasoned politician and a governor of Busia county.
He was first elected to represent the Amagoro constituency in the national assembly in 2007.
Ojaamong is a teacher by profession but joined politics in the early 90s working closely with now ODM leader Raila Odinga.
He was won and recaptured Busia county on the strength of his deep roots within the Orange Democratic Movement.
As to whether his close relationship with Raila will keep him in the political limelight after 2022 is a matter of wait and see.
16. Alex Tolgos
Elected in 2013 on United Republican Party, Tolgos has of late been gravitating towards Uhuru and Raila Odinga ahead of the expiry of his term in 2022.
He was given the task of leading BBI campaigns in Rift valley although little was achieved as his own county voted to reject the BBI bill.
Perhaps his dalliance with the Uhuru-Raila team might see him remain relevant politically after 2022, should Raila Odinga succeed Uhuru Kenyatta as president of Kenya.
His closeness with Raila Odinga has seen him host the ODM leader in his county more than once.
Tolgos is also seen to have a closer working relationship with Baringo Senator and KANU chairman Gideon Moi who is part of the One Kenya Alliance that seeks to have a presidential candidate who wil succeed Uhuru.
This thus could be another avenue for the professional engineer to remain politically relevant after 2022.
17. Cornel Rasanga
Rasanga is the governor of Siaya county. The ODM member is expected to leave the office in august 2022. He has however not expressed interest in seeking another elective post.
Siaya County already has the admiration of police spokesperson, Charles Owino who has declared his interest in succeeding Rasanga come 2022.
The county’s senator James Orengo, a close ally of Raila Odinga and an ODM stalwart has also expressed interest to succeed Rasanga.
Rasanga is a known close ally of Raila Odinga and is the reason he has ruled the county that is home to the ODM leader comfortably.
As an ardent supporter of BBI and handshake, perhaps he will remain in the political space way after his retirement in 2022 by getting a state appointment.
18. Samwel Tunai
Tunai’s second and final term ends next year and he has declared he will vie for a senatorial seat, just to try and ensure he remains in the political limelight.
The public administration expert, who comes from the minority Siria clan, was elected on the platform of uniting communities in the cosmopolitan county will be competing against incumbent Senator Ledama Ole Kina of Orange Democratic Movement, and land rights activist Meitamei Ololdapash.
The governor said his supporters have advised him, he is too young to retire from active politics hence the decision to go for the lesser senate seat.
19. Paul Chepkwony
Chepkwony’s 2 dramatic terms will soon be over. He almost faced an impeachment motion during his first term following an alleged sex scandal with his female deputy governor.
In his second term, the governor had to defend himself in a sworn affidavit filed in court against allegations of misuse of public funds, nepotism, impregnating campus girls.
The MCA also accused the governor of hiring girlfriends, cousins, and relatives in his office.
Chekwnony was elected on William Ruto’s United Republican Party and re-elected in Jubilee Party ticket.
The former University don however does not appear to read from the same script with supporters of Deputy President William Ruto.
having not announced plans to vie for any other elective seat in the county in 2022, it remains to be seen if of not he will settle with disappearing from the political limelight.
20. Mwangi Wa Iria
Murang’a governor Mwangi Wa Iria is expected to leave the office in 2022 after serving 10 years at the helm of Muranga county government.
In 2020, wa Iria said that he will not retire from the government, but rather aim higher.
That’s when he declared his interest in contesting for the presidential seat in 2022, saying that it was time for Murang’a to produce a president.
He recently launched his campaign vehicles, branded in his party colors.