In Summary

  • All efforts by Governor Kabogo to discredit Mr Waititu eventually favoured the Kabete MP in the recent primaries.
  • Mr Waititu’s supporters even quipped that a squirrel had felled a buffalo.
  • Mr Waititu, popularly known as Babayao, garnered 353,604 votes against Mr Kabogo’s 69,916 votes.

Always dressed in buggy trousers, untucked oversize shirts and a hat when not on official duties, Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, who is viewed as someone with little regard for etiquette, paints a picture of a confused happy-go-lucky fellow.

But the rough politician, who never shies away from admitting that he will do anything to get what he wants, is perhaps every politician’s envy.

Many agree that successfully shifting a political base from one county to another to save a dwindling political career, as the streetwise politician did, is what everyone wishes for, but it is not everyone's game.

Within three years, the 55-year-old MP successfully shifted base to Kiambu County from Nairobi, where he had been sent to political oblivion after he lost to Evans Kidero in the 2013 governorship race.

The "fiery politician" found comfort in Kiambu, where he made a comeback after inheriting the Kabete parliamentary seat in May 2015 in a by-election following the killing of then MP George Muchai.

To some, he is an opportunist, a lucky go-getter, but to others, he is a man of the people who always acts as a champion for the downtrodden.

ABRASIVE

The MP, who courts attention wherever he goes, and whom troubles always follow, never walks away from them, and could probably fit the definition of an abrasive politician, at least going by his antics.

He often justifies his actions as the only way to tackle issues, and during his tenure as Embakasi MP, he was captured on camera throwing stones during a demonstration, and in Kabete, he led youths in raiding bars in the area in the fight against illicit alcohol.

“I just roam just like that, but I have God's favour,” Mr Waititu said during his campaigns for the Jubilee Party ticket in the Kiambu governor’s race, in which he handed incumbent William Kabogo an embarrassing defeat.

Mr Waititu, popularly known as Babayao, garnered 353,604 votes against Mr Kabogo’s 69,916.

The MP was born on January 1, 1962 in Kibera, and has always been perceived as a “Nairobian” but during the Kabete by-election he said his parents had roots in Limuru and Githunguri.

Mr Waititu rose through the political ranks from being a councillor, deputy mayor to MP and assistant cabinet minister before losing in the 2013 elections.

Though he always appears friendly, Mr Waititu is a no-nonsense politician who says it as he sees it.

NOTHING SCARES HIM

Nothing or no one moves or scares him, and bravery and aggressiveness saw him easily become a darling of the people of Kiambu, who viewed him as the only person who could tame Mr Kabogo.

The flamboyant governor, who has an appetite for fast cars, has been accused of arrogance, hard-headedness and disrespecting other elected leaders.

When Mr Waititu declared his interest in the Kabete seat, Mr Kabogo immediately started fighting his attempt to join Kiambu County politics, fearing that Babayao would team up with other MPs in the county who were fighting him.

Page 1 of 2