The big business winners and losers from Kenya's election

These billionaires are often said to offer campaign donations and then show up with demands for contracts and appointments after elections.

The country’s top two presidential candidates, Jubilee Party’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga of National Super Alliance (NASA) party were the main faces of the just-concluded general elections.

The two arch-rivals went head-to-head in the country’s most hotly-contested polls where Mr. Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party was declared winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Uhuru edged out Raila by getting 8,203,290 votes (54.27%) against the NASA leader’s 6,762,224(44.74%).

The polls, termed as the most expensive in the world, were preceded by vigorous campaigns with the each candidate using all the available vote-hunting machinery in a bid to claim the country’s top seat.

The two dominant parties enlisted billionaires and members of the business community to serve as resource mobilisers to raise millions of dollars needed to run the campaign.

Both the Uhuru and Raila camps had teams of technocrats, wealthy businessmen as well as lobbies that were keen to ensure their side wins the Presidency.

It is the competitive nature of Kenya’s Presidential election that for one to run a successful campaign, he must be willing to spend about Kshs5 billion ($50 million).

The wealthy tycoons pumped billions of shillings to their respective camps even though sources of funding and budgets still remain as closely guarded secrets.

Some are also said to ‘hedge’, where they partly finance both candidates with the intention of spreading their risk so that whichever way the election goes, they are covered.

And with Uhuru Kenyatta being declared the winner of the polls, pending the petition filed at the Supreme Court by his rival Mr. Odinga, Business Insider SSA looks at the winners and losers from Uhuru and Raila's campaign financiers:

Winners (Uhuru Kenyatta’s team)

Uhuru’s campaign team was comprised of wealthy lawyers, bank owners, insurance magnates and billionaire businessmen known in the country’s political and business circles.

A good number of them formed the Friends of Jubilee Foundation, a lobby that was keen to support the president’s re-election bid. The lobby is said to have raised Kshs 500 million($5 million) in just 2 hours at a fundraiser dinner in support of the President.

It was composed of among other people:

  • John PN Simba
  • Titus Ibui
  • Paul Ngugi
  • Peter Munga
  • Pius Ngugi
  • Chris Kirubi

Losers (Raila Odinga’s team)

In Raila’s camp was well-known billionaire Jimi Wanjigi, who is also credited with brokering NASA’s leadership pact that made Raila the flag bearer and Kalonzo Musyoka his running mate.

Wanjigi, who is the CEO of the Kwacha Group of Companies, has investments in real estate, agriculture, oil and manufacturing, among many other business ventures.

Others included Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho(whose family owns one of Kenya’s largest clearing agencies) and his former Nairobi governor counterpart Evans Kidero. Former Kenya Ports boss Brown Ondego was also said to be behind the campaigns.


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