According to the Kenyan constitution, a by-election is to be carried out after a leader dies while still in office, apart from or two positions, the president and governors.
In case of a vacancy in the president’s office, the deputy is supposed to take over for the remaining period until another general election is held. Gubernatorial seats, on the other hand, will be taken by deputy governors after the death of county bosses.
However, a by-election is held after the demise of a senator, Member of Parliament, woman representative or Member of County Assembly.
A number of politicians have vied and won in electoral positions that were held by their deceased family members, a norm whereby sons, wives, sisters and brothers of deceased politicians take up the vacant offices.
Some of the politicians who have replaced their dead loved ones include;
Mutula Kilonzo Junior
The less-known lawyer rose to fame after vying and winning the Makueni Senate seat after the demise of his father, Mutula Kilonzo. The senatorial race in this county was an all-family affair. The first choice for the seat was the deceased’s daughter, Kethi Kilonzo.
It was after the disqualification of Kethi by the IEBC that Wiper Party presented his brother as its candidate. The heir to the throne is now serving his second term in office.
The late Bomet Governor clinched her first political seat after the demise of her sister, Lorna Laboso, who died in a plane crash in June 2008.
Joyce was a Lecturer at Egerton university when she was compelled to vie for Sotik Parliamentary seat. Lorna was an MP under ODM Party which opted to give the ticket to the Laboso family.
She rose through the ranks and become the first female deputy speaker and one of the first female governors in Kenya. Joyce, later on, succumbed to cancer in July 2019.
She is the current Member of Parliament for Bomet East Constituency. Following the death of her husband Kipkalya Kones in 2008, a by-election was held on September 25 the same year where she emerged the winner on an ODM Party ticket.
Her husband died in a plane crush together with the then Sotik MP Lorna Laboso. Kipkalya was an ODM party member, while Beatrice shifted to Jubilee in the 2017 elections.
Moses Otieno Kajwang
Homa Bay Senator, Moses Kajwang, was sworn-in on February 2015 after successfully contesting for the post which fell vacant following the demise of his elder brother, Otieno Kajwang. He won the by-elections on an ODM ticket.
The first Homa Bay Senator passed in November 2014 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The Kitui West MP was sworn into office after winning a by-election held following the demise of her husband, Francis Nyenze. She walked in her deceased husband’s path under the Wiper Party.
Nyenze succumbed to Colon cancer in 2018, a few months after his re-election to the Kitui West parliamentary seat.
It remains to be seen whether the same will happen in the latest mini polls, the November 7 by-election in Kibra, Nairobi.
The death of Kibra MP, Ken Okoth, exalted his brother Imran to the Kibra candidacy. The aspirant has already emerged the winner in the first lap, which is the ODM Party nominations.
Considering Kibra is an ODM stronghold, Imran maybe just a step towards being the next Kibra MP.