In an exclusive interview with Kenyans.co.ke presenter Kimani Mbugua, Sakaja said that Kenyatta, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, wanted Sakaja to work at the National Treasury.
“I was around 24 years. I had my own car, house and company and the President wanted me to work with him at the Treasury. I did not want to join the Treasury or the government. He had noticed that I had ideas after I came up with strategies on how to redraw boundaries.
“But I changed my mind once and he threatened to fire his staff if they failed to hire me. I joined him and for a few years worked with him (until 2013),” the Senator stated.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja who was listed in the Top 100 Kenyans 2020 by Kenyans.co.ke
He added that he was part of a team that attempted to revamp the Kenya National Union (KANU) while Kenyatta was still a member of the party.
However, the desire for new ideas saw them break away and form their own outfit, the National Alliance (TNA).
“The President asked me to be the Chairman of the party but at 27 years, I felt I was too young…but he had faith in me and together we ran a campaign that had never been witnessed in Kenya. We rode on the energy of young ideas by enrolling the youth,” Sakaja stated.
He recalled how the two met in 2007 while he (Sakaja) was campaigning for former President Mwai Kibaki. The Senator was then a student leader at the University of Nairobi (UoN).
The two became friends and used to meet from time to time. Their discussions centred around their families, childhood and upbringing.
Sakaja’s progressive politics and the ability to negotiate has earned him a slot in the Top 100 Kenyans 2020 list by Kenyans.co.ke. He has been instrumental in unlocking a standoff between senators regarding the formula that would be used to share revenue between the counties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to add Ksh 50 billion to the kitty which counties’ were supposed to receive and Senator Sakaja’s formula was adopted.
He also championed the rights of the less privileged. Sakaja fought for the family of the late Yasin Moyo (13) who was shot dead by a police officer who was enforcing curfew laws in March 2020.
Other politicians who have ben selected in the Top 100 Kenyans 2020 are