As politicians are busy crafting strategies for next years polls, a catchy and simple nick name that will be easy to remember and attractive to the electorate is top on the list. Many aspirants are including nick names in their national identity cards for easier recognition on voting day.
Politicians like Wanjiru Chege swore an affidavit to include in her identity card the name Maitu, Kikuyu for mother, to flow with her slogan "Maitu Ndacenjagio" (you can't re- place your mother).
Kiharu politician Karanja Mburu has also sworn an affidavit to includ in his ID the name Wamatangi, associated with his charitable deeds in construction of water tanks in communities and in schools, to serve as a reminder to the electorate.
Mburu is seeking to unseat Ndindi Nyoro and banks on his philanthropIc deeds to woo voters Water Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu Wairagu has also changed his name to Wairagu wa Mai (Wairagu, the water provider), in a strategy to clinch the gubernatorial seat by riding on his ministerial obligation of connecting water to peoples' homes.
The aspirants may have borrowed leaf from those who successfully changed their names before winning elective positions in the past. Maragua MP Mary Waithira included the word "Maua" in her name.
This was her husband's business name, and was popular in the constituency. Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria was initially Francis Mwangi Maingi. He changed names to avoid confusion on the ballot paper, since he was popular during his tenure at the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) before venturing into pol tics.
It was at the New KCC where he picked his nickname Mwangi wa Iria. Kiambu Senator Paul Kimani added"Wamatangi' on his ID to correspond to his popularity of distributing tanks to locals. Former Kiambu Governor Ferdi- nand Waititu added "Babayao" to his name.
In a Kenya gazette, the former Kiambu governor changed nis name from Ferdinand Ndung'u Waititu to Ferdinand Ndung'u Waititu Babayao on March 6, 2017, making his "Ba- bayao" nickname oficial. He crafted the name during his campaigns for the parliamentary seat in Embakasi.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Gideon Mbuvi added Sonko to her name to read Mike Mbuvi Sonko on the ballot paper. Sonko later captured the Makadara parliamentary seat, Nairobi senatorial seat and finally the governorship. Kieni MP who was earlier known as James Mathenge Simon, changed his name to Kanini Kega, which was the family business name, while Godfrey Kariuki Mwangi.
popularly known as Kabando wa Kabando, also picked his nickname as an official name after the 2002 General Election Kabando started referring to himself as GKM Kabando in high school, and would later on be call Kabando wa Kabando after he joined the University of Nairobi in 1990 for a Bachelors of Arts in political science.
Other than changing names, the politicians have crafted catchy slogans while others are mere rhetoric meant torelate with popular names. Such leaders include Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru, who identified herself with the slogan minji minji (green peas), a Kikuyu popular dish.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has in the run-up to his re-election campaigns assumed the moniker King'angi or crocodile, inferring that the politician who has changing name.
The deed poll is a declaration detaling ones intention to change a name and it must entail a notification from the referee.
The registrar may reject a proposal, if the change promotes criminal activities, is impossible to pronounce, includes numbers and symbols, promotes racial or religious hatred, promotes the use of controlled drugs, is vulgar or includes at least one formern and one user name.
The Registrar of Documents has only two offices in the country- in Nairobi and Mombasa.
POLITICIANS WHO HAVE CHANGED NAMES TO SWAY VOTES
1.Murang'a Govemor Mwangi wa Iria from Francis Maingi Mwangi
2. Klambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi from Paul Kimani
3. Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu to Ferdinand Waititu Baba Yao
4.Kieni MP Kanini Kega from James Mathenge Simon
5.Murang a Women Rep Sabina Wanjiru Chege to Sabina Maitu Wanjiru Chege so far been elected on six different political tickets and was a danger yours political reptile.
His competitor, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, s"Laingo or the fearless warrior, while Senator Mithika Linturi picked "Cap tain" as his moniker in last election campaigns.
Other Meru politicians with popular monikers are South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi "Ka mashinaní', Tigania East's Jose phat Gichunge "Kabeabea" and East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi "Kiumiru." Meru Woman Representative Faith Kawira is popularly known s Kawira"Mwangaza", which was the business name of the business she ran with her former hus band.
North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood is popularly known by his moniker "Mumeru Mutuune, which translates to "the red Mmeru.
But what is in a name? Political commentator Judy Makira, who is also a university lecturer, said the names and slogans could create or destroy a politician's career and that is why politicians think and consult before coming up with a nickname and adopting it in their identity cards.
Some reasons to changing names are to resonate with the popular and trending issues, which are familiar with the electorate, bearing in mind that the majority are youth who are on social media platforms," Dr Makira noted.
George Kariuki, a political strategist, says politicians pick names hat rhyme with their work as a reminder to voters of their efforts and sacrifices to change the community.
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