Prof. George Wajackoyah is the leader of the Roots Party of Kenya. [Photo/ NMG]
Prof. George Wajackoyah is the leader of the Roots Party of Kenya. [Photo/ NMG]

Professor George Wajackoyah has captured the attention of numerous Kenyans ahead of the General Elections slated for August 2022.

He is among a large pool of fringe candidates gunning for the Presidency. The outspoken lawyer has previously teased Presidential bids in 2013 and 2017 but failed to get much traction.

What’s different this time? He’s running on a marijuana legalization platform. He wants Marijuana decriminalized and sold internationally to help pay off the country’s mounting external debt.

Numerous countries around the world have in the past decade been legalizing Marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational purposes.

In 2017, Lesotho became the first African country to grant an administrative license for the commercial cultivation of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. Several other countries have since followed suit including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, eSwatini, Zambia, Uganda, and Rwanda.

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Some of Wajackoyah’s other proposals, such as suspending the Constitution for six months and appointing eight prime ministers, have only added to the eccentrities surrounding his bid. But it is the marijuana offer that has many Kenyans, especially younger voters, pledging their support.

It has to be said that it is unlikely Wajackoyah will win given the political heavyweights he is up against – Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

But in typical Wajackoyah fashion, he has vowed to stay in the race and is brimming with confidence. He has even invited his supporters to smoke with him on the lawns of State House once he is sworn in.

Before putting his political ambitions front and centre, Wajackoyah was known to Kenyans simply as a lawyer who has been involved in a number of high profile cases.

He famously represented Congolese music superstar Koffi Olomide when he was deported back to Kinshasa after assaulting one of his dancers in Nairobi where they had travelled to for a show in 2016. Wajackoyah was instrumental in lobbying for his return to Kenya for a show in 2020, four years after the incident.

In a video shared to his social media pages, Olomide thanked Wajackoyah for his efforts to get GoK on  board. He also represented Tanzanian lawmaker Godbless Lema who fled to Kenya in 2020 fearing for his life after heated polls in his home country.

Hailing from Western Kenya, Wajackoyah faced a difficult upbringing after his parents broke up when he was 16 years old. He was abandoned, and found his way to Nairobi where he spent time as a street child.

According to Prof Wajackoyah, the late politician J.J. Kamotho was the good samaritan who stepped in and paid for his school fees at St. Peter’s Mumias Boys High School after which he joined the police academy.

He rose through the ranks and became an inspector.  However, when the late Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Robert Ouko was murdered on February 12, 1990, Wajackoyah’s inquisitive nature  led to his arrest, detention and alleged torture.

He was assisted to get out of detention and flew to the UK where he began life in exile.

It is during this time that 62-year old began studying law while working odd jobs to pay his fees. Prof Wajackoyah would later move to the US where he has lectured on Law and Economics, Human Rights, Comparative Constitutional and International law.

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