Politician Who Replaced Their Dead Relatives

  • The history of relatives replacing their dead kin has seen many gain access to political power in Kenya.

    Kenya has for a while been accused of supporting dynasties in political circles. The claim has never sounded more true that when family members are elected to replace their deceased kin.

    From Kibra MP Imran Okoth to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, most by-elections have become playground for families keen to ensure the political mantle torch left behind by the dead kin remains firmly in their grip.

    Here are politicians who took over political positions after the death of their kin.

    1. Msambweni MP Feisal Bader


    Msambweni MP Feisal Badder casts his vote in Kwale on Tuesday, December 15, 2020


    On Tuesday 15, Feisal Bader was declared the MP elect for Msambweni Constituency, but what many people were learning for the first time was the fact that Bader was related to the late Msambweni legislature Suleiman Dori.

    Bader is the nephew of the late Dori whose death on March 9, 2020, left the seat vacant, prompting a by-election.

    Bader beat ODM candidate Omar Boga who had support from both former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Bader, an independent candidate, garnered 15,251 votes against Boga Omari (ODM) who got 10,444 votes.

    Former Msambweni MP Dori died while receiving treatment for cancer at the Aga Khan Hospital aged 42 years.

    2. Wendani MCA

    In an election that ran concurrently to Msambweni by-election, Jubilee Party’s Kevin Ochieng was declared the winner of Wendani Ward in Kiambu County.

    Ochieng made his debut in politics after his elder brother Cyrus Omondi, who was the ward’s MCA passed on at a hotel in India.

    The new MCA battled with some 15 aspirants in the by-election that registered a low voter turnout.

    Omondi died in February after suffering what was said to be a heart attack while on a bench-marking trip.

    3. Imran Okoth

    Kibra MP Imran Okoth

    Kibra MP Imran Okoth


    Arguably the most supercharged by-election in 2019, Imran Okoth was elected MP, taking over the reins  from his late brother Ken Okoth who had warmed his way into the hearts of the people of Kibra.

    Ken died in July 2019 while receiving treatment at The Nairobi Hospital after months of battling cancer.

    He had been diagnosed with stage four Colorectal cancer which he made public in February 2019.

    Imran Okoth trounced Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga after garnering 24,636 votes against 11,230 votes

    ANC’s Eliud Owalo finished a distant third, managing to garner only 5,275 votes of the 41,984 votes cast.

    4. Edith Nyenze

    Kitui West MP Edith Nyenze speaking to the press

    Kitui West MP Edith Nyenze speaking to the press.


    After the death of her husband Francis Nyenze in December 2017, Edith Nyenze entered the race to succeed him as Member of Parliament for Kitui West in the by election held on March 26, 2018.

    Indeed she won the election through the Wiper Democratic Party and became the Kitui West MP.

    Edith was declared the winner after garnering 14,372 votes in the ensuing by-election.

    Independent candidate Dennis Muli finished a distant second with 2,046 votes, while in third place was Robert Mutiso of Narc Kenya with 1,784.

    She occupied the office previously held by her late husband who had passed away at Nairobi Hospital after a long battle with Colon cancer.


    5. Mutua Kilonzo

    Senate ad hoc committee chairperson Mutula Kilonzo Jr (centre) leads proceedings into the Solai dam tragedy, at Parliament on July 17, 2018.

    Senate ad hoc committee chairperson Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Centre) leads proceedings into the Solai dam tragedy, at Parliament on July 17, 2018.


    In a rather disturbing turn of events after the 2013 General Elections, former Machakos Senator Mutula Kilonzo was found dead in his home in Kyelu ranch, Machakos County.

    In his place, his son Mutula Kilonzo Junior was elected Senator in July 2013.

    Mutula was declared winner after garnering 6,431 votes, trumping Independent candidate Urbanus Muthoka who managed a paltry 517 votes, while Jane Kitundu of Labour Party got 387 votes.

    There were reports the family of late Makueni Senator wanted his daughter Kethi Kilonzo to seek his seat in the subsequent by-election. Others who were said to have eyed the seat was Snr Mutula’s widow Nduku Kilonzo. It was, however, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr who ended up clinching the seat.

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