William Kabogo Gitau, the immediate former Kiambu County Governor is no stranger to controversy. All through his political life his behaviour and flamboyance have been interpreted by his political detractors as arrogance. But who is this man?
The former Governor is a year older than his political nemesis, the more controversial Ferdinand Waititu Baba Yao, who successfully defeated him in the 2017 Kiambu County gubernatorial elections. Both are alumni of some university in Punjab India, where they graduated in Commerce. What a coincidence?
On the political scene, William Kabogo made his debut in politics on Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kanu party in 2002. He was however defeated in the nominations by then-incumbent Stephen Ndichu, the current Kiambu County Speaker. Kabogo decamped to the little known Sisi kwa Sisi party and whitewashed Ndichu in that year’s general elections.
In the 2007 elections, Kabogo was defeated by the PNU candidate George Thuo. He filed a petition against Thuo’s win, which the court agreed with. In the subsequent by-elections, he beat George Thuo on Martha Karua’s Narc Kenya ticket.
The little buffalo, with his well-oiled campaign strategies, some provocatively bizarre, like allegedly flying low on George Thuo’s function, just as lunch was being served and blowing dust all over, had made his mark in politics. There was no turning back.
Kabogo is no stranger to alleged criminality. From the alleged involvement in the grisly death of university student Mercy Keino, which a court inquest cleared him, to being named in 2010, with others in Parliament, by the late Internal Security Minister, George Saitoti, as people on the international radar for drugs trafficking.
In 2013, he run and won the seat as the first Kiambu Governor on Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA ticket. Though privately it is rumoured Kabogo has been a long time Uhuru’s friend and drinking buddy, his stature as Kiambu Governor elevated him into the center of national politics.
Kabogo loses Kiambu
Unfortunately for him, the people of Kiambu bought into the propaganda against him and booted him from the gubernatorial perch in 2017. Little did they know they are welcoming a wolf from Nairobi’s Eastlands to devour them alive.
Kabogo’s 2017 campaign mantra “kaba Kabogo” has recently gained traction with the people in view of the current tribulations of Baba Yao. This also seems to have gone into the head of the proud, flamboyant and controversial political figure.
Recent instances of arrogance
His speech at the burial of popular Kikuyu Benga musician John De’Mathew, dissing the Deputy President for allegedly campaigning early before 2022 elections were in consonance with Kabogo’s arrogant nature. However, to the applause of the mourners, he was put in his place by the Deputy President.
Honestly, what is the understanding of politics by Kenyan politicians? Is reassuring voters across the country that the government is on track on delivery of its campaign promises political campaigning? Everything a politician or public servant does is obviously political. It is all about the allocation of resources. Political campaigning is a different ball game.
But why try to shame the Deputy President in front of a people who genuinely, even by Kabogo’s admission, love him dearly? Was Kabogo playing to the gallery or had he been sent to test the waters against the DP? If so, he miserably failed.
The reality on the ground
The people are with the Deputy President. Contrary to assertions by some bloggers that the late De’Mathew had asked the people to support BBI’s proposals for Prime Minister’s position, nothing of the sort has been put into the public domain.
De’Mathew’s pro-Ruto songs are on YouTube and his fans, especially in his Murang’a backyard, and Mt. Kenya region, in general, knew his political stand. Nobody captures this than his friend, Peter Kigia, with his latest trending song. Kabogo’s are just political rants that may sweep him away a second time.
Unless he changes…
Of all people, Kabogo should be politically wiser if he wants to recapture his former job as Kiambu Governor. It is hypocrisy of the highest order to accuse others of early campaigns but in local idiom say, “I have retired, for now, no thakame no hiû!” What is that supposed to mean if not declaring candidature for 2022?
If he continues with his arrogance, engaging in “nyondo cia ngui” kind of politics, and singing the dynasties agenda, he will not know what hit him.