For a man who had just quit his well-paying job, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna had a fairly smooth transition into politics.
Sifuna opened up on how he rose above the ranks in politics on TV47’s Wabebe Experience show which airs every Friday at 10 pm.
“I had just quit my job in 2013. That is the time Baba (Raila Odinga) had just lost the presidential elections. Hiyo time ndio kufikia baba hukuwa rahisi zaidi kwa sababu kila mtu amemtoroka,” the lawyer narrated.
How I met Raila Odinga- Sifuna
He had previously met Raila during his campus days but had to reintroduce himself and spell out his intentions.
“I went to his office and found him seated just like you here. He welcomed me and we had a good conversation over a cup of tea. I told him we needed to prepare for the next election which was only five years away,” Sifuna explained.
Unknowingly, he had earned a seat at Raila’s inner circle.
In the weeks that followed, Sifuna frequented Raila’s home in Karen as they brainstormed on the future of their coalition dubbed Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) at the time.
“I sat next to big names that I even felt nervous and asked myself whether I really deserved to be there. I sat with the likes of David Ndii. All I did during the first few meetings was listen to their expert opinions on the best political agenda.”
Running for Office
Sifuna was heartbroken after being denied a CORD ticket to run for Kanduyi MP seat in 2017. He was later approached by officials a few weeks before the elections and handed the Nairobi senatorial ticket.
“I was told that I was the best candidate to run against Sakaja and I was even promised some campaign money which I did not receive. But I was so proud because I managed to get 700,000 votes.”
Sifuna becomes ODM Sec Gen
Prior to the 2018 handshake between former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, luck knocked on his door and he became the Secretary General of ODM.
“Niliulizwa kama nataka iyo position nikasema naeza fanya kazi yoyote nikipewa. I was declared the SG of the party and that was how people came to know me.”
Undeterred, Sifuna made a second bid for the Nairobi senatorial position under an ODM ticket in the 2022 general elections.
He was declared the winner after garnering 716,651 votes to beat his competitor Bishop Margaret Wanjiru of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) who got 524,091 votes.