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Kimunya bounces back after four years in political cold

Mr Amos Kimunya’s political life can be summarised in scholar Brian Tracy’s words: “I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

In last Tuesday’s General Election, Mr Kimunya overwhelmingly won the highly contested Kipipiri parliamentary race on a Jubilee Party ticket when 30,663 of the 50,416 registered voters endorsed him.

He recaptured the seat he lost to outgoing lawmaker Samuel Gichigi in 2013.

CORRUPTION
Born in 1962, Mr Kimunya was first elected Kipipiri MP in 2002 on a Narc ticket and re-elected in 2007 via PNU.

In 2002, he ousted Mr Mwangi Githiomi, who retained his Senate seat last week. 

The former Finance minister fought and survived many political battles during his tenure.

The University of Nairobi commerce graduate was, upon election as MP, appointed the Lands and Settlement minister by then-President Mwai Kibaki.

DAVID MWIRARIA

He would in 2006 become the Finance minister following the resignation of the late David Mwiraria over corruption allegations, a portfolio he retained after the 2007 elections.

READ: Kenya’s Finance Minister resigns

Haunted by a scandal over his perceived role in the sale of Grand Regency Hotel that led to a vote of No Confidence by Parliament, Mr Kimunya memorably said at a rally: “I would rather die than resign.”

INQUIRY

Despite the stand, he was pressured into quitting his Cabinet post to pave the way for an independent commission of inquiry that would clear him.

He then bounced back into the Cabinet as Trade minister. 

Corruption allegations were nonetheless successfully used as a campaign tool against him in 2013.

RELATIONSHIP
Local political analyst Moses Kuria recalled Mr Kimunya’s 10-year term in unflattering words:

“He was not accessible, his pointmen were arrogant, creating a barrier between him and the people who elected him. Youth were unrepresented, abandoned and neglected.” 

According to Mr Kuria, Mr Gichigi made similar mistakes at the very crucial last minute, when he concentrated more on national politics shortly before Jubilee Party primaries.

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