Mututho makes comeback, seeks Nakuru senatorial seat

Former NACADA chairman and Nakuru politician John Mututho speaking in Nakuru city on January 19, 2022.

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen

He is an avid debater and made a name when he represented Naivasha constituency in Parliament from 2007 to 2013.

John Michael Mututho is also a shrewd political player.

The teetotaler left an indelible mark in Parliament with what came to be called the Mututho laws against the sale of illicit liquor.

The laws, officially called the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, and subsequent ones limited the sale of alcohol, bar and nightclub hours, and how and where alcohol could be consumed.

Consequently, Mr Mututho became a villain to bar owners, alcohol companies and users.

His stringent laws against alcohol abuse and his persistent campaigns sparked debates in bars, on social media and other platforms.

But this has not stopped him from pushing forth his agenda, driven by his passion to see a drug-free society.

The former chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drugs Abuse is now eyeing the Nakuru Senate seat to push for good governance, and proper oversight and regulation of the production and sale of alcohol.

Former NACADA chairman and Nakuru politician John Mututho speaking in Nakuru city on January 19, 2022

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen

In an exclusive interview with the Nation on Monday, Mr Mututho, confirmed that he had joined the crowded race for the Senate seat, setting the stage for an epic political battle in the cosmopolitan county.

“I will be running for the Nakuru Senate seat as an independent candidate. I have offered myself to contest because I believe we need renewed leadership in the Senate for Nakuru and Kenya as a whole. I want to protect the benefits of devolution,” he said.

He said he wants to provide proper representation and good governance and to help push for progressive legislation including fighting endemic corruption.

“Your senator must be a senator who can speak for you, defend you, debate questions of law and legislate for your benefit,” he added.

He also said he would push his agenda driven by his passion to see a drug-free society.

“I want to be pro-life. If elected, my first business in the Senate will be to introduce more legislation to regulate the production and distribution of alcohol in the country,” he said. 

“There is a huge need to safeguard the family unit that is quickly disintegrating due to alcohol abuse. We need proper laws that will protect the family. Laws that will regulate alcohol use, ensure people drink the right quality, quantity and at the right time.

“I think the race for the Nakuru Senate seat will be between John Mututho, who is pro-life, and others, some who are pro-alcohol.”

He also wants to introduce laws that will regulate the use of genetically modified foods (GMOs) and the use of unauthorised chemicals in agriculture.

“Kenya faces doom with continued consumption of GMOs. We need to protect our people from GMOs and harmful chemicals. I will introduce a law to ban harmful chemicals used in farming on my first day in the Senate,” he said.

Other laws he proposes are those streamlining the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), boda bodas and matatus.

Asked why he shelved his ambition for the Nakuru governor’s seat, he said: “I shelved my interest in the Nakuru gubernatorial seat so that I can go to the Senate to provide the critical oversight role and legislate laws that will improve people’s lives. 

“I will push for legislation without fear or favour because I am not easily compromised or bribed. In the Senate, I will not even want to be chairman of any committee, I will want to push for legislation privately as a member.”

Mr Mututho joins an already crowded race to succeed outspoken Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, which has attracted more than 15 candidates, less than six months before the next General Election.

Others who have declared their interest in the position include Industrialisation Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Lawrence Karanja, Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja, veteran politician Koigi Wa Wamwere, philanthropist and politician Mike Weche, young politician Davis Ruto, Daniel Kimani, Mwai Gachunga and Andrew Yatich.

More candidates are expected to announce their interest in the seat.

Senator Kihika, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, has declared she will vie for the governor’s seat.

Her decision threw the race for the Senate position wide open, with several aspirants declaring their interest in it.

Ms Karanja, 56, who owns and manages Keroche Breweries, declared her intentions to contest the seat last year, setting the stage for a gruelling battle with other candidates.

"I want to influence policies from the front row while at the Senate. I’ve been toying with the idea for years, but I’m now ready to go for it,” she said.

"For years, I have shied from politics to concentrate on business but time is ripe for me to introduce policies that will cushion and support fellow investors. 

“I think I have new business ideas which can spur this country ahead economically and when the time is right I will name my political vehicle."

Ms Karanja will run for the seat on a United Democratic(UDA) ticket.

The entry of CAS Lawrence Karanja into the race also complicated the situation.

Mr Weche has also been conducting discreet campaigns, making inroads in various sub-counties and engaging mainly young people and women to galvanise support for his bid.

Political analyst and lawyer Steve Kabita says that several factors, including closeness to the people, individual development records and President Uhuru Kenyatta succession politics, will determine who becomes the next senator.


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