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Jimi Wanjigi’s foray into front-end politics enters snail’s pace

Jimi Wanjigi has since mid-2021 been vocal about his bid to become a presidential candidate, but the last week has made that ambitious idea fade into the background.

The decision by a court to free him as it verifies the orders of another court preventing his arrest made his rather dramatic taking from his offices inconsequential. With officers apparently from the Anti-Terror Police Unit staging a siege at his offices before eventually removing him, it was not lost on observers that it was likely a show of might instigated by the Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti.

Mr Kinoti has been on Mr Wanjigi’s radar for long, with the businessman eventually securing a decision to have the DCI boss jailed for four months for contempt of court, which eventually did not happen.

Before his fallout with the principals of the Jubilee coalition, Mr Wanjigi was the power behind the throne, having played a role in their coming together to the extent that Kalonzo Musyoka would later claim that his split with the duo was partly because of the businessman. The businessman has spoken of having the sort of international connections that enabled him to know the intricate details of the Standard Gauge Railway project long before it became a reality.

The fallout with the Jubilee administration would result in the businessman backing Raila Odinga in 2017. He was likely among those that were left further in the cold by the ‘Handshake’.

It has been hard to tell, even from those close to him, what exactly his game plan was to get the ODM presidential ticket at the expense of Mr Odinga. He was reported to have hoped to secure the delegates from regions where ODM has not had a good grip, like Central Kenya and Ukambani, and then use that muscle to get himself a seat at the table, if not the presidential ticket. But the ODM hierarchy laughed him off and threatened to take action on him for opening branch offices without their blessing.

Observers would later say that he was written off as an insignificant challenger, and now that Mr Odinga has the support of some members of Jubilee, it looks unlikely Mr Wanjigi will get a chance to claim a seat at the table.

Whether it marks the end of his venture from the backroom of politics to the front is another matter, but for now, the man who claims to have significant international connections could be out of the game in Kenya.

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