Kenyan musician Kelvin Kioko, also known as Bahati, has revealed that he spent about 27 million shillings from his own pockets in his campaign for the Mathare Parliamentary seat in the 2022 general election.
In an interview with comedian Chipukeezy on the Chipukeezy Show, Bahati said that despite running for the seat on a Jubilee ticket, he was essentially an independent candidate as the party led by former president Uhuru Kenyatta never gave him any support.
Bahati also claimed that the leader of the Union Declaration Raila Odinga only wanted the ODM candidate to take the seat and even asked him to withdraw from the race promising him a job in the government after they won the presidency.
Bahati said being ordered to withdraw from the race just 10 days before the election changed a lot of things as many of his supporters returned home knowing that his name had already been removed from the ballot paper.
“I don’t even know how I happened to come to that vote I got, I don’t know at all. It was a miracle,” he said.
In last year’s Mathare parliamentary election, Oluoch of ODM retained the seat by getting 28,098 votes while Ojiwa of UDA came second with 16,912 votes. Bahati managed to get 8,166 votes for the Jubilee party ticket.
Bahati’s revelation that he spent 27 million shillings on his election campaign is a significant amount of money, especially for a young artist. It is also a reminder of the high cost of running for political office in Kenya.