A former professional comedian by the name of Walter Mong’are Nyambane became the first official candidate in Kenya’s upcoming presidential election on Monday, the country’s Capital FM news site reported.
“Nyambane, a former actor from the once-popular comedy group Redykyulass, was the first to win approval to be on the ballot in the August 9 presidential election,” Capital FM revealed on May 30.
“We have reviewed all your documents and you have fulfilled all the requirements to run for the presidency,” Wafula Chebukati, chairman of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, told Nyambane on May 30.
Wafula spoke at a ceremony where he presented the former comedian with a certificate certifying his presidential candidacy.
Nyambe rose to fame in Kenya through a successful career in the comic arts before venturing into the public sector through various government roles in recent years.
“Nyambane resigned as Director of Youth Programs in the Presidency and Cabinet Affairs Office in February,” according to Capital FM.
“He previously served as Director of Communications at Nairobi County Government and Head of Radio at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC),” the outlet recalled.
Thank God 🙏
Sasa twende kazi! pic.twitter.com/wMZXaBScwP
— Rotarian Walter Mongare Snr (@WALTERMONGARE) May 30, 2022
Nyambane represents the Umoja Summit Party of Kenya. The political party is “committed to ensuring that the country’s marginalized people get a platform to be heard in national politics and in economic matters”. [sic]said a reporter from Citizen TV Kenya during a news broadcast on March 18.
The Umoja summit party said at the time that it aimed to “bring about progressive development” in Kenya through “the inclusion of the marginalized”. Party leaders said they formed the group “to ensure that young people, women and people with disabilities are heard”.
Kenya’s 2022 presidential election is scheduled for August 9. Kenya’s previous national elections have been mired in identity politics, with the upcoming presidential vote appearing to be no exception.
“Kenya’s two leading presidential candidates have chosen running mates from the voice-rich Kikuyu ethnic group to bolster their chances of winning the much-anticipated poll in August,” the BBC reported on May 17.
“Vice President William Ruto chose businessman Rigathi Gachagua while former Prime Minister Raila Odinga settled for former Justice Minister Martha Karua,” observed the British broadcaster.
“The two are worlds apart, except for the fact that they come from the Mount Kenya region,” Nairobi-based political analyst Javas Bigambo told the BBC.
The Mount Kenya region in Kenya is home to the Kikuyu ethnic group. The tribesmen are today considered “the economic and political elite of independent Kenya”, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Kenyan presidential candidates often court the political support of the Kikuyu tribe, as it is traditionally seen as instrumental in determining the outcome of the vote.