Kenya’s two most prominent presidential candidates are vying for votes in the forthcoming election. A third candidate is running on marijuana and hyena testsicle campaigns to solve the country’s financial problems.
East Africa’s richest nation will hold an election on 9 Aug, with Raila Odinga, a veteran opposition leader, and William Ruto (deputy president) leading a close race.
George Wajackoyah, a reggae fanatic, has been declared a wildcard candidate. He has pledged to eliminate the country’s debt through his “ganja solution”.
Many believe Mr Wajackoyah is appealing to younger voters because he has proven more effective than traditional politicians in tackling corruption, inflation and unemployment.
The grave-digger-turned-law-professor has polled at around 2% of votes, but could have a say in the election if he endorses one of the front-runners or take votes from another.
He has pledged to eliminate Kenya’s debt of nearly $70 billion (PS57.9bn). This includes establishing a medical cannabis sector and exporting animal parts.
He said that he had created a new tribe, the “ganja tribe”, which explained his popularity.
“These (politicians) have helicopters, money, and they have painted cars. “I don’t even own a single poster.”
‘The ganja solution’
Wajackoyah is well-known in Nairobi’s clubs. Local media coverage has raised suspicions that he may be supported by a larger campaign to win the youth vote.
He has denied these rumours and stated that he turned down support offers from candidates.
He dreams instead of smoking pot in the White House.
The 62-year old said that he would go to the state house to smoke the tobacco around to get rid of colonial impurities.
Wood-panelled office with a do-rag, and listening to Hare Krishna prayers.
His manifesto also includes other policies, such as federalizing the government and renegotiating Kenya’s debt with China. He also proposes to hang people convicted of corruption.
He said, “We’ve arrived with the ganja solutions.”
Low budget campaign trial
Wildcard candidate running on a shoestring budget. Supporters created homemade posters featuring his snow-white hair and the slogan “Wajackoya 5th”, which refers to his bid for Kenya’s fifth president.
He said, “If you showed me how much money I have, I would make you laugh.”
His budget limited his ability to attend rallies that saw him arrive at markets unannounced, blasting reggae music and pitching his candidacy for the job to anyone who was interested.
On Wednesday, Mr Wajakoyah led his convoy to Gatundu (about 30 km north of the capital), where there was a crowd of about 400 people.
Jeff Mwangi, a labourer, stated that “Every election cycle everybody just brings here their propaganda.”
“If this man can say what he really means, we will go far as a nation.”