5 Politicians Who Got Their Start As University Student Leaders


It is an election year, and soon many will be queuing to vote in leaders who will effect change in our country. There are some names that will appear on ballot papers that began their political careers in campus.


Here is a list of 5 former student leaders who went on to become successful politicians in Kenya today.


1.James Orengo
James Aggrey Bob Orengo was born in 1951 in Ugenya, Siaya County. He is the former Member of Parliament for Ugenya constituency and the current senator for Siaya County. While studying law at the University of Nairobi, James Orengo was elected the SONU chair, a position he held from 1972 to 1973. Mr. Orengo was part of what former attorney general Charles Njonjo once described as the “seven bearded sisters”. This was a group of seven young politicians who were fighting for political reforms in the KANU era. Apart from Orengo, other members were Koigi Wamwere, Abuya Abuya, Mwachegu wa Mwachofi, Chibule wa Tsuma, Lawrence Sifuna and Wasike Ndobi. James Orengo was among the leaders who successfully fought for the introduction multi-party democracy in Kenya in 1992.

2.Kipchumba Murkomen
You probably know Kipchumba Murkomen as the fierce defender of the Jubilee government and senator for Elgeyo Marakwet. The senator began his political career at the University of Nairobi where he was studying law. He was elected as the chair of the Kenya Law School Students Society.

3.Hassan Omar Hassan
He is the current senator for Mombasa and former chair of Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. He served as the chair of Moi University Students Organisation before being expelled following the orders of the then President Moi after he organised a demonstration to oppose the naming of the university after Moi. The government of the day went further and banned him from attending any other university in Kenya. When Hon Mwai Kibaki assumed power in 2002, Hassan Omar got a chance to complete his studies.

4.Johnson Sakaja
Johnson Sakaja is a nominated Member of Parliament and former chair to the now defunct TNA. He began his political journey while at the University of Nairobi when he was elected the vice chair of Actuarial Students Association. The young legislator is currently in the race to become the next Nairobi governor.

5.Ababu Namwamba
Pius Tawfiq Namwamba Ababu is the Member of Parliament for Budalangi constituency and former secretary general of Orange Democratic Movement. Currently, Mr. Namwamba is the leader of Labour Party of Kenya, an outfit he formed after leaving ODM. He served as a student leader at the University of Nairobi where he represented Parklands campus.



To all comrades with political ambition, your campus is the perfect launch pad for your career. Today you will begin by representing comrades; tomorrow you could represent a constituency, a county or even the whole nation.


This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Collins Pasi.



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