SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has been elected as the new Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasarani Constituency. Karauri, who ran as an Independent, defeated UDA’s John Kamau and Jubilee Party candidate Mercy Gakuya to clinch the seat.
Karauri bagged 32,046 votes. His closest rival, Kamau (UDA), got 30,044 while Gakuya (Jubilee) finished third with 24,790 votes.
91,774 individuals cast their vote in Kasarani out of a total of 155,405 registered voters in the constituency.
An elated Karauri promised to serve Kasarani residents in his new role. He argued that his win was proof that citizens were becoming less keen on parties and focusing more on what the candidates can do for them.
“I want to thank the people of Kasarani for electing me,” Karauri stated after receiving his certificate from Returning Officer Nyongesa Chelai.
Karauri is among business leaders who went for various seats in the General Elections. Others include Keroche Breweries founder Tabitha Karanja and former Equity Bank CFO Polycarp Igathe who are running for the Nakuru Senate and Nairobi Governor seats respectively.
As CEO of SportPesa, Karauri steered the pioneering sports betting firm to become the biggest in the sector in Kenya. The company made a net profit of Ksh12.9 billion for its shareholders in its first five years of operation when the brand was owned by Pevans East Africa.
The company was then the biggest casualty of an assault by the government on the sports betting industry. The company ceased operations in Kenya as it battled with regulators and the taxman.
The SportPesa brand returned to the market through Milestone Games Limited in which Karauri has interests. How the brand was transferred from Pevans and the operations of Milestone is the subject of a legal tussle pitting Karauri against Kenyan investors in Pevans, led by tycoon Paul Ndung’u.