Editor's Review

  • Wajackoyah said after then Special Branch boss James Kanyotu retired, operatives from the state came after them and tortured them physically and emotionally.

Veteran Kenyan lawyer George Wajackoyah hit the headlines a few months ago when he declared interest in the country's presidential seat during the August 2022 election.

Contesting under the Roots Party, Wajackoyah comes out as a controversial candidate owing to his promise to legalise bhang for medicinal value.

Using the slogan Wajackoyah the 5th, the lawyer cum politician became popular with a section of netizens terming him the third horse in the presidential race that features among others Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Wajackoyah recently opened up on his journey to where he is today, noting that it has been anything but easy.

He recalled his time as a spy, adding that he at one point had to flee the country over fear of being murdered.

Roots party Presidential candidate George Wajackoyah. [Photo: Courtesy]

The veteran lawyer noted that after the controversial death of the then Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko in February 1990, he was among a team of special branch officers appointed to investigate the murder which was suspected to have been orchestrated by rogue state operatives.

They investigated the matter and came up with findings that allegedly ruffled some feathers in the government, leading to harassment and torture of the investigators.

Wajackoyah noted that after then Special Branch boss James Kanyotu retired, operatives from the state came after them and tortured them physically and emotionally.

"When Ouko was murdered, there were a lot of contradictory stories. I was commissioned by Mr (James) Kanyotu, the then director of intelligence, to find out from the system who might have been involved. We did what we did....So when we found out what we found out, those who wanted us to cover up and due to a change of guard in the intelligence service at that time with the retirement of Kanyotu, things went upside down. I was detained and tortured properly.

“With a lot of issues that were going on, sometimes they would blindfold me in a place I didn’t know and open my eyes at the city mortuary at night. That was maximum psychological and emotional torture," he told Daily Nation.

Wajackoyah was forced to flee the country in 1991 and moved to Europe and the United States where he stayed until 2012 when he returned to the country following the promulgation of the new Constitution.

While he was away, several persons who had links to the Ouko murder investigation died mysteriously, prompting the Prof to believe that maybe he would have been among them had he not fled the country.

Explaining why he has been silent for all those years, Wajackoyah says now that he is seeking the presidential seat, he needed to come out clean on what he knows regarding torture and detentions during the 90s.