In Kenya, one is expected to be rich before aspiring to political office. The richest governors in Kenya is, therefore, a very important list because this is where people come to view the successful governors; politicians who have already proven that they have the skills and drive to succeed in the private sector, or in their professional careers.
Interestingly, Kenyan governors do not disappoint in this regard; a majority of them are successful and have amassed substantial wealth and power before coming into the governorship positions.
Of course, the public eye will always be on people who have control of public funds; the public will always demand some form of accountability- even if not in the complete sense. One way through which this is done is by observing how much wealth a person has at the time of coming into office, and how much he has amassed as his tenure goes along.
Top 10 Richest Governors In Kenya
1. Governor Ali Hassan Joho
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.7.3 Billion
Governor Ali Hassan Joho of the Orange Democratic Movement is a well-known businessman. Before showing his hand in politics he had successfully managed several investments including shipping and logistics, travel and tourism, and transportation.
He then went on to contest and win the 2007 Kenyan parliamentary election as the representative of the Kisauni Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya. After that, he went on to become the Governor of Mombasa in 2013, and he has successfully defended his position again in the 2017 elections.
Governor Ali Hassan Joho is reputed to be the wealthiest sitting governor in Kenya with an estimated wealth of Kshs.7.3 Billion. That estimation also makes him one of the richest governors in Kenya of all time.
2. Governor Kivuthi Kibwana
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.4.9 Billion
Kivuthi Kibwana is a very well-established personality in Kenya. He is well known for his genius, which he has used to build a formidable empire. He is has been everywhere on the Kenyan political scene; he has been a former member of parliament for the Makueni Constituency. He was Minister for Defence, Minister for Environment, and he was also a former advisor to President Mwai Kibaki.
Governor Kivuthi Kibwana has put his amazing intellect to good use; he is understood to have investments in several businesses, though not under his direct control. He is estimated to be worth about Kshs.4.9 Billion.
3. Governor Wycliffe Oparanya
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs. 3.7 Billion
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya of the Orange Democratic Movement is a certified billionaire. He has established himself in the financial space through his Business endeavors, including Auditing and Finance management which he did both locally and internationally. He then became Minister of State for Planning, and during the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, he oversaw the National Development and Vision 2030.
He then contested and won the governorship election of Kakamega County on 4 March 2013, making him the first governor of Kakamega County. He contested again for his second term, and the election was held in August 2017. He is one of the most influential Governors in Kenya; with a net worth estimated to be in the region of Kshs. 3.7 Billion.
4. Governor Sospeter Ojamong
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.3.68 Billion
Sospeter Ojamong of the Orange Democratic Movement is another very successful personality; a billionaire and politician. He was a school teacher for many years, and then he became Deputy Principal- a post which only held briefly before switching over to politics.
Sospeter Ojamong went on to contest for the 1992 general elections and was elected to represent the Amagoro Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya in 2007. He went on to contest in the 4 March 2013 elections and went on to become the governor of Busia County. He went on to contest for reelection in the 2017 general elections, beating his closest competitor Hon. Paul Otuoma.
With an estimated net worth of around Kshs.3.68 Billion, Sospeter Ojamong has one of the biggest purses in Kenyan politics. He is reputed to have invested heavily in Real Estate, and he is rumored to have a presidential ambition.
5. Governor Alfred Mutua
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.3 Billion
Dr. Alfred Mutua has had a very good professional career, in which he has been a media personality. He has produced several films both within and outside Kenya. He is the author behind the book; How to be Rich in Africa and other secrets of survival. He has also produced several magazines and other media works. His talent was spotted, and he was brought in to become the government spokesman. Alfred Mutua is also the Proprietor of Woni TV station and has diverse interests in Hotels, Aviation, and Real Estate.
Spotting his talent, Alfred Mutua was brought in to become the Kenya government spokesman. From there Alfred Mutua went on to become the governor of Machakos County on 27 March 2013. He was elected to that position on the ticket of the Wiper Democratic Movement Party. Interestingly, he abandoned that political party for one of his founding; the Maendeleo Chap Chap Party.
Governor Alfred Mutua is therefore a media and political heavyweight in Kenya.
6. Governor Ann Waiguru
Estimated Net-Worth: Ksh.2.87 Billion
Ann Waiguru was already proficient in handling money. She has a background in finance, and she worked with the World Bank in the capacity of an assistant vice president. She was brought in to bring her expertise to use for the betterment of Kenya; she served as the first Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning during the Presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta.
Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru, EGH OGW, (born 16 April 1971) is the second Governor of Kirinyaga County in Kenya. She has been in that position since 22 August 2017. Anne Waiguru is vastly experienced in finance, financial management systems, capacity building, and governance. She is estimated to be worth around Ksh.2.87 Billion.
7. Governor Cornel Rasanga
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.2 Billion
Cornel Rasanga of the Orange Democratic Movement is a notable political figure. He joined the public service in the Ministry of Agriculture as a supplies officer in charge of National Agricultural laboratories, and he later reached the rank of senior procurement officer in charge of procurement and materials management.
Rasanga vied for the governorship election in 2013, but there had to be a by-election before he was declared the winner. He was again re-elected as governor of Siaya in 2017. He is estimated to be worth about Kshs.2 Billion; and he is said to have several investments in procurement.
8. Governor Anyang Nyong’o
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.1.9 Billion
Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o was born on 10 October 1945. He is an accomplished Kenyan personality; a politician and author. He is with the Orange Democratic Movement; he even rose to become the Secretary-General. Anyang Nyongo was the acting party leader at a point as well.
He was the Minister for Medical Services and before that, he was also the Minister for Planning & National Development. He was then elected to the National Assembly of Kenya in the December 2007 parliamentary election, representing the Kisumu Rural Constituency. Anyang Nyong’o then served as Senator from 2013 to 2017. He is currently serving as the Governor of Kisumu County.
He is the father of Lupita Nyong’o; the famous actress. He is a lifelong academic; having served in several institutions both within and outside Kenya.
9. Governor Cyprian Awiti
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.1.8 Billion
Cyprian Awiti is easily recognized for his huge frame. He attended Manchester University, and he worked with Siemens company. He began his career working for Kenya’s Ministry of Public Works as an Electrical Inspector, he then took up a Senior Lecturer position with Mombasa Polytechnic.
In 1993, he was appointed country director at Marie Stopes Kenya and he stayed at the position until 2010. In 2013 he contested for the governorship election under the umbrella of the Orange Democratic Movement, and he was elected Governor of Homa Bay County.
Cyprian Awiti is said to be worth around Kshs.1.8 Billion, making him one of the biggest money bags among Kenyan governors. He has invested a good deal of his money in the health sector.
10. Governor Alex Tanui
Estimated Net-Worth: Kshs.1.8 Billion
Alex Tanui is the governor of Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya. Before becoming governor of the County he had distinguished himself in his professional life with a lot of tasking and very lucrative jobs. He was Operations and marketing director at KOBCOM Petroleum LTD, then he became Assistant operations manager at Kenol/Kobil. He went on to become a Monitoring Officer at the United Nations Volunteers.
He took to politics and immediately became elected as governor of Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya. In 2015 he was adjudged to be the best performing governor in Kenya. He is estimated to be worth about Kshs.1.8 Billion, and to have investments in petroleum marketing.
The richest governors in Kenya are an interesting list to behold. However, it will in time raise the issue of a possible clash of interests; whether or not individuals with private interests should be allowed to hold public office. Will the need to demonstrate one’s competency supersede the need to ensure complete and utter devotion to the Kenyan people, and the zeal to carry out the duties of their political offices to the best of their abilities? Time will tell.