The hour-long interview broke down the Senator’s journey into politics starting with his years growing up and how he ended up advising President Uhuru Kenyatta on his pick for Deputy President.
In a light moment during the interview, Senator Sakaja narrated how he bought his first car, a Mercedes which he had dreamed of purchasing while at Lenana High School.
“Under my desk I had this picture of a Mercedes Benz, so when we started making noise in class, I’d open my desk and when I saw that picture I’d tell myself, ‘If I make noise, I will not buy this car’, because it was my dream car and ultimately I was able to buy it when I was in campus in 2007.
“In campus I had to pay my own fees because the family didn’t have that much money so I put up businesses. I had a salon, kinyozi, a laundry, I used to cook and at the end of the day I’d make between Sh5,000 and Sh6,000 and at that time the Mercedes was not expensive so I was able to get it by the time I got to fourth year. Na pia nilikuwa nimeingia siasa, ya President Kibaki at the time so I had some resources,” the Senator narrated.
He stated that he bought the car at Sh500,000 and had made great memories in the car including some with his wife.
He would later come to learn that the vehicle had been owned by Ford-Kenya party leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula.
“Funny enough, this car used to be owned by Weta, but I didn’t know. It’s only later that he realized he used to see this car at Serena, nikienda gym and he used to wonder who had it, kumbe ni yangu. When he found out I was the one who bought it, he told me he’d have sold it to me at half price,” the Senator stated while mimicking the Bungoma Senator, “In his classic way he said ‘my distinguished nephew, this would have been half price’,” Sakaja recounted.
Nancy Gitau, Uhuru’s politics advisor
Senator Sakaja narrated that his first political assignments were handed to him by Nancy Gitau, President Kenyatta’s political advisor.
At the time, Ms Gitau was working as the Political Affairs Director for Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki and she would ask Sakaja to participate in policy development.
His big break came when he was asked to participate in the re-writing of Kenya’s constitution.
“Nancy, again, asked me, can you find a formula that will help with creating constituencies in Kenya. I read, researched and came up with a formula. During an MPs retreat in Naivasha to deliberate on the subject, ODM had been asked to bring a consultant and so had PNU. ODM brought Prof. Oduor – the current Vice Chancellor of Technical University – PNU brought a 24-year-old, me.
“Lawyer Kamotho, now husband to Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, bought me the suit I wore for that presentation,” Sakaja narrated.
He added that he had seen the Professor’s presentation a few days prior and had discounted it. According to Sakaja, after he made his presentation, Prof. Oduor advised the delegates to go with his formula.
“Article 89 of the Constitution, to date, I am the one who dictated it word for word,” he stated.
Senator Sakaja added that he met President Kenyatta while campaigning for President Kibaki, adding that they became friends and have been since.