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Sakaja: How elections cost me Sh15 million in one day

Sakaja's investment paid off after he he was declared the winner of the Nairobi gubernatorial election.

Johnson Sakaja

Nairobi Governor-elect Johnson Sakaja has revealed that the August 9, General Election cost him Sh15 million.

Sakaja said in an interview with Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura that he used the money to pay agents during the day of the election.

He broke down that on the voting day, he stationed about 3,543 agents across all the polling stations in Nairobi county.

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"We need to have an electronic transmission for our polls. I have just finished sorting out my agents. It cost me Sh15 million," Sakaja revealed.

He also explained that the money only catered for a day's work and his agents volunteered after the tallying took longer than he had anticipated.

His investment paid off after Sakaja he was declared the winner, garnering 699,392 votes against his competitor Polycarp Igathe who had 576,516 votes.

According to a 2021 report released by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in collaboration with The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) the high cost of Kenya’s politics has major implications for political participation and development.

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The report said it costs an average of Sh35.5 million to run for a Senate seat, Sh 22.8 million for the Woman Representative seat, Sh18.2 million to be a Member of Parliament (MP) while the Member of County Assembly (MCA) seat is the least expensive at Sh3.1 million.

Data collected from 300 aspirants in the 2017 General Elections indicated that these costs were predominantly raised from an individual’s personal savings or with the support of friends or family.

Less than 20% of survey respondents received financial support directly from their political party. "The more a candidate spends, the greater their chance of electoral victory," the report revealed.

Since the passage of a new constitution in 2010, which created six elective positions available in each county, larger political parties rely on the popularity of the presidential candidate in order to secure the six positions.

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