Editor's Review

 Only four of the 12 Deputy Presidents Kenya has had since independence did not fall out with their bosses.

Over the past few months, the Kenyan political space has been filled with reports of a fallout between Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua and his boss, President William Ruto. 

The reports emerged after DP Gachagua missed 11 state functions in May 2024. Although the DP and the President have dismissed the claims, their recent activities suggest there could be some tension between them. 

This is common as only four of the 12 DPs Kenya has had since independence did not fall out with their bosses. Here is a breakdown of the four: 

Joseph Murumbi

Murumbi was Kenya's second deputy president. He was appointed in May 1966 and resigned in November of the same year due to illness. 

File image of the late Joseph Murumbi. 

He served under Kenya's first President, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Murumbi was appointed following the resignation of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga on 14 April 1966. 

Oginga resigned over claims of being sidelined by his boss, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Musalia Mudavadi

He served as Kenya's seventh and last deputy president under the leader of the late President Daniel Arap Moi. He was appointed in November 2002 and served until January 2003, when the NARC party took power.

Mudavadi replaced the late George Saitoti, who had served Mzee Moi as deputy president for about 12 years.

Since he was appointed at the tail end of the KANU administration, he was in office for only 60 days and had no fallout with his boss.

Mudavadi is currently the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs in President Ruto's administration.

Michael Kijana Wamalwa

The late Michael Kijana Wamalwa was Kenya's eighth and first vice president under President Kibaki's administration. He served from January 2003 to August 2003, when he succumbed to illness.

Wamalwa was hospitalized at a Royal Free Hospital in London but died after reportedly suffering kidney failure.

File image of the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa. 

Moody Awori

He was Kenya's ninth vice president; President Kibaki appointed him following Wamalwa's death.

Unlike the other three, he served the most extended period without a fallout with his boss. He was appointed in September 2003 and served until January 2008.