Was Sakaja Voted Best Senator Three Times?

By Alice Beryl Auma

Senator Johnson Sakaja and Polycarp Igathe faced off in the second phase of the Nairobi gubernatorial debate on July 12, 2022. A highlight was when Sakaja claimed that for the last three years running, he has been voted the best performing senator in the Republic of Kenya.

‘‘For the last 3 years running I have been voted the best performing senator in the republic of Kenya, I have brought more bills, more motions, more questions about the county of Nairobi than any other senator’’

Verification

Performance in Parliament is measured by various opinion polls and surveys carried out by pollsters within Kenya. One such pollster is Mzalendo Trust, an autonomous online parliamentary monitoring organisation.

Scorecards for Members of Parliament are generated yearly by the organisation since it launched in 2013. The ranking of senators is based on their performance in the Senate and Mzalendo acknowledges that this method is just one of several parameters that can be used to judge the performance.

The data uses a quantitative metric in that it analyses the number of times a member of parliament or senator spoke as indicated by the Hansard.

According to the 2018 Bunge Scorecard, Senator Johnson Sakaja was at the top with 640 appearances followed by Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr of Makueni. Mr Sakaja also took the lead among the youth MPs while Lilian Cheptoo and Alexander Kimutai were at the bottom with 0 appearances. See screen grab below. 

In 2019, the Mzalendo scorecard ranked Ledama Olekina as the top performing senator with 461 appearances. However, Senator Sakaja was ranked as the top performing youth with 93 followed by Nandi senator Cherarkey Samson. See screen grab below.

Legislating in a pandemic was nothing new for Sakaja as the 2020 Parliamentary Scorecard noted that he was the top male senator followed by Cherarkey Samson, Moses Wetangula, Ledama Olekina and Irungu Kang’ata in that order. Senator Johnson Sakaja also took the lead for top male youths that same year. See screen grab below.

Verdict

Claims that Senator Sakaja was voted best Senator three years running are MOSTLY TRUE.

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