Promises of marijuana paradise electrify Kenyan voters


George Wajackoyah arrived in Mwea for one of the last rallies of his campaign with his head and shoulders protruding from an SUV’s sunroof. Other vehicles followed closely behind, one playing reggae through a massive speaker and yelling the man’s name.

He is the Kenyan presidential hopeful whose bizarre ideas, such as selling hyena testicles to boost the economy, have inspired young people around this country in East Africa. Wajackoyah is a well-known human rights attorney who shot to fame when he declared his intention to run for president.

His unconventional proposals, which centre on legalizing marijuana, have upended the more than 50 million-strong nation’s presidential election, which seasoned and well-known candidates had controlled. A mob rushed behind Wajackoyah’s car as soon as the locals in Mwea, a small village where rice is grown, discovered what was going on.

In Kenya, promises of marijuana paradise electrify the electorate : NPR

The 63-year-old candidate claimed, “We are the only political party without a billboard, no secretariat, no offices. We don’t pay people because where is the money?” No one in this room believes Wajackoyah will succeed Daniel Arap Moi as the next president of Kenya.

Still, in a closely contested race, he could push the two front-runners, Raila Odinga and current Deputy President William Ruto, into a second-round run-off if neither receives more than 50% of the vote on Tuesday. Wajackoyah’s campaign generates a lot of excitement, and the fact that his convoy is surrounded by people when it stops in Mwea indicates that many Kenyans want things done differently.

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Wajackoyah added, “In Japan if you steal, they give you a chance to commit suicide. If you steal in Kenya, you must appear before the legislature or the senate. Corrupt politicians in Kenya will have a choice in how they pass away.

As the audience clapped in response to his comment, he grinned broadly before presenting his most well-liked policy suggestion. “We have to change our mindsets to look at the economics and fix those economics — and the only way to fix the economics is by growing weed!” Into the microphone, he shouted.

Marijuana And Snakes: The Maverick Shaking Up Kenya's Election | Barron's

You suddenly felt the exhilaration spreading throughout the entire town. Teenage ladies screamed with delight as the crowd chanted “Bhangi! Bhangi,” which is Kiswahili for “pot.”

Wajackoyah is misinterpreted by young people, according to Maureen Kaunda, who was present at the event. She claims he is not discussing marijuana use. She remarked, “He is talking about exporting it — to make people rich, to make the country rich,”

57-year-old Simon Machira heartily concurred. He claimed, “The Kenyan government has told us to plant tea, to plant cotton, but it has not borne fruit,”

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He said, perhaps now is the moment to do something radical since, despite years of government promises, politicians are still dishonest, and the general populace is still in poverty.

In Kenya's presidential campaign, George Wajackoyah sparks marijuana debate - The Washington Post

Wajackoyah’s policy suggestions were dubbed “comical.” by Ngala Chome, a political analyst at Sahan Research, a think group with its headquarters in Nairobi. But, he said, they are all connected to the economic issue that is most important to Kenyans in this election.

He claims that Wajackoyah’s campaign is a component of a new trend in Kenya. Tribalism has traditionally been at the forefront of politics.

But this time, the economy is sending a stronger message because of rising unemployment, gasoline shortages, and inflation. Wajackoyah, a candidate on edge, can sense that.

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He was quoted as saying, “He’s tapping into that emotion of people who are in debt, people who are basically broke,” Chome stated that he does not believe any of his commitments will be kept. Wajackoyah’s campaign does, however, highlight one encouraging shift in Kenyan politics. For the first time, according to him, politicians are being compelled to consider the subjects that Kenyans care about the most.

Outside of the event, Wajackoyah displayed a more somber side. He changed from being a reggae dancer on top of a car to a lawyer arguing for his outlandish ideas.

He claimed that medical marijuana might be sold to Israel. He added that you could clean up the nation’s corruption by assassinating a few corrupt leaders. He claimed, “African problems can be sorted .It’s very simple. That’s why I’m telling even the president, I am telling [front-runner] Raila Odinga, I’m telling [front-runner William] Ruto, ‘The money you’ve stolen return it. Otherwise I’m going to kill you.'”.

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Wajackoyah suggests exporting dog meat to China in light of the lack of industry in the nation. He suggests a four-day work week as he surveys the worn-out Kenyans. He reacted angrily when the reporter asked if he was giving Kenyans false hope by offering simple solutions. He said that if China and the Philippines could handle significant issues, why could not Kenya?

He laughed when the reporter pointed out that both nations have appalling human rights histories.  The human rights attorney exclaimed, “Human rights my a**,” “Let us go. Let us first liberate our nation before carrying out our obligation.”


Shyamly is a talented content editor at With her extensive experience in journalism, Shyamly brings a keen eye for detail and precision to the content she creates. She is responsible for ensuring that all news and updates on the cannabis industry are accurate, informative, and engaging for her readers. Shyamly's passion for writing is evident in her work, and her unique flair for creativity and innovation sets her apart from the rest. When she's not busy creating captivating content, she can be found exploring new hobbies, including photography and art.

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