I never expected to be a politician Mutula Kilonzo jr

A legal hurdle on his sister’s bid to
take the Makueni senate seat left
vacant by the death of his father,
pushed Mutula Kilonzo Junior into
politics. He was less enthusiastic
about it then, but he seems to have
found his footing in the Senate
Many say he is basking in his
father’s fame, which won him a
senate seat that he barely
campaigned for.
“You can actually call it sympathy
vote because majority of Makueni
people did not know me. I
campaigned for only four days. I
hold the record for the highest
number of votes in the republic and
the shortest campaign,” says Mutula
Jnr. Mutula Jnr won the Makueni
seat by a landslide garnering
163,229 votes (90 per cent of the
“The people of Makueni never
knew me, but they were looking for
my father’s replacement in
whatever form,” he says. The
young lawyer never thought he
would be joining politics until the
sudden death of his affluent and
influential father, Mutula Kilonzo
Senior last year. “I never imagined
I would become a politician at the
age of 38.
But it is fair to say that I had
interest in political leadership. In
2007, I campaigned for Nairobi
County Deputy Governor Jonathan
Mueke who was vying for the
Westlands constituency seat and
also Kalonzo Musyoka in Mwingi
South and my father in Mbooni,” he
However, when he was given the
microphone to address his first
political gathering, Mutula Jnr
appeared less enthusiastic about
the idea. That was in Wote town on
Saturday July 20, only six days to
the by-election. His critics were
quick to draw a comparison
between him and his younger sister
Kethi Kilonzo, 36, who was the
Wiper Democratic Movement choice
candidate for the seat before the
IEBC tribunal and the High Court
blocked her bid.
And, in that comparison, Junior
faired badly. But, perhaps, after
absorbing the magnitude of his
decision, the next four days of
campaigning brought to the fore a
different Mutula Jnr. During the
interview, he agreed with the view
that the fame and popularity of his
late father gave him an upper hand
in the polls. Despite the fact that
publicly it looked like he had
turned the tables against his sister
Kethi, Mutula Jnr says his
relationship with his sister is
Kethi has been his partner in
Kilonzo and Company Advocates
since 2008 after their father left
the firm. He also says ‘things are
Ok’ with his stepmother Nduku
Kilonzo who also haboured interest
in the seat. The senator refuses to
discuss the matter further, but
says: “Everybody keeps to their
side of the lane.”
He confesses to having difficulties
fitting into his father’s shoes.
However, he says he cannot
compete with his father’s legacy
and will try to fulfil the dreams he
had. And on whether he plans to
continue being a senator, he says:
“A Mutula dynasty can only be
decided by people Makueni.”
On the controversial death of his
father, Mutula Jnr says the family
was aware he died of an unnatural
cause, but they are still waiting for
the police report. Outside politics
the father of one does lots of
community work. He is a past
president of Nairobi Lang’ata
Rotary Club.