Regardless of the outcome of the 2017 elections, when the legacy of the Uhuru Kenyatta presidency is eventually written one name will not be omitted. That of nominated MP Sakaja Johnson.
Hon. Sakaja made history in 2012 when he was named as the youngest ever chairman of a national political party when he was unveiled as leader of Uhuru’s The National Alliance. Sakaja is among those hitherto unknown faces who ensured the Jubilee Coalition locked most of the youth vote in the general elections.
From then on, Hon. Sakaja has undeniably made a name for himself since he entered Parliament. He has conceptualized revolutionary bills in Parliament.
In 2013, Sakaja sponsored the Public Procurement and Disposal (Amendment) Bill which received Presidential assent in 2014. The purpose was to ensure that 30 per cent of all National and County Government Procurement Opportunities allocated to youth, women and persons with disability. It is this bill that has eventually resulted to the State House Youth Summit which was hosted by the President and Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs CS Cecily Kariuki at State House at which adopted certain resolutions aimed at ensuring that the special groups not only get their rightful share of procurement opportunities in government but are also paid in a timely manner.
The President tasked Hon. Sakaja to come up with a list of shame of procuring entities that were not making payments for work done and services rendered by youth, women and persons with disability.
Sakaja’s style has opened a completely new chapter on youth engagement at the apex of national politics and paved the road for youth participation in the economic and national development agenda.
His story is what has inspired hundreds of youth on both sides of the political divide to take an interest in politics and political observers contend the 2017 general elections will see the highest number of under-35 aspirants ever.
Sakaja has continued to impress observers and comfound critics in equal measure. His political aspiration to be Governor of Nairobi has been declared ‘ambitious’ but this is precisely what defines his success so far. He has curved a niche for himself in the national political fabric and is widely admired for his unique style, political maturity, emotional stability, no tribal baggage, corruption free and untainted, and absolutely refreshing.
For good measure, these attributes have led Sakaja to earn the respect of and high regard from both President Uhuru and opposition leader Hon Raila Odinga. Senior citizens like COTU’s Francis Atwoli have often described him in glowing terms. Atwoli admits that on numerous occasions when negotiations have failed between government and COTU, he has often used Sakaja as a diplomatic emissary to the Presidency with positive results.
Is Hon Sakaja the solution to Nairobi’s long standing problems? Many people think so!