2022 presented good vibes, terrifying news, and never-seen-before happenings in equal measure.
Let’s take a look at what defined the year.
2022 was largely a peaceful year despite the rocky waves of politics ahead of the August polls.
Unlike the previous electioneering years when politicians engaged in heavy exchange of dirty words, 2022 had some decorum, and Kenyans embraced peace all the way to the ballot.
Most of the time, the leaders preached peace and that’s something to take home as good news in a county that almost went up in smoke about 15 years ago as a result of political differences.
2022 is also the year that saw COVID-19 ease down after ravaging the nation for more about three years.
In March 2022, the then Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe lifted what was considered the remaining precautionary measure; wearing masks in open places.
“There has been a lot of debate on face masks, wearing face masks in open places is now lifted. We encourage the use of masks in indoor functions," Kagwe said.
By this time, the country had received adequate COVID-19 vaccines and many Kenyans had taken their first dose. It was a good thing towards fighting a deadly disease.
The deadly viral disease had killed a number of Kenyans and, for a long time, everyone was left at the mercy of God with various governmental precautionary measures being the only hope left.
The precautionary measures set up by the government included washing of hands or use of hand sanitizers, keeping distance, staying at home, closure of worship premises, and entertainment joints, restriction of access to government offices, and work places, and reduction of PSV capacities.
The effects of Covid-19 will still go down as Kenya’s most painful experience in 2022, three years after the country recorded its first case.
Apart from the pain of losing loved ones, many Kenyans lost their jobs after companies were forced to cut down their workforce and devise new ways of operating.
The loss of jobs led to tough economic times as the majority of breadwinners was unable to provide for their families.
Other bad examples of the year were seen in the political arena, all the way from the campaigns to the general election that occurred in August.
For instance, William Ruto’s frequent exchange of words with then-President Uhuru Kenyatta in public was quite disturbing.
The two leaders, who fell out after Uhuru's March 2018 truce with Raila, washed their dirty linen in public, threatening the stability of the country in the period leading up to the August polls.
On August 15, ugly scenes were witnessed at the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya as IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati took to the podium to announce the presidential results.
The IEBC boss, who was accompanied by commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu and IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan were attacked by a rowdy group of politicians from the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition, who accused the officials of presiding over a flawed process.
In Sports, the suspension of football activities in the country by the sport’s world governing body FIFA in February 2022, shook the industry as Kenya stared at a long-term ban.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the suspension during the 18th FIFA Congress videoconference meeting held on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
“We had to suspend two of our member associations — Kenya and Zimbabwe. Both for government interference in the activities of the football associations of these associations.
"These associations are suspended from footballing activities with immediate effect and they know what needs to be done for them to be re-admitted or for the suspension to be lifted,” Gianni said.
It was until November 2022 that the suspension was lifted after Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba reinstated FKF Executive Committee that had been disbanded by the former CS Amina Mohammed.
Amid peace, corruption allegations rocked the country from the beginning of the year when millions of shillings were said to have been squandered by some political leaders at a time when the effects of Covid-19 were literally killing the common mwananchi.
For instance, in July, the then Mathira Member of Parliament and now the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was arrested in a dawn raid by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers after he had been, in the past, grilled by the DCI over claims of money laundering amounting to hundreds of millions.
Such arrests of prominent political leaders were welcomed and rebuked in equal measure by Kenyans. Some Kenyans were of the opinion that the leaders were being humiliated and embarrassed in public while others praised the move insisting that corruption was a vice worth being fought in whatever way.
Gachagua had denied claims against him and termed them political, and in November 2022, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji withdrew a Ksh7.3 billion fraud charges against him (Gachagua).
The same year presented ugly tragedies and criminal incidents that shook the nation.
On July 24, a grisly accident involving Modern Coast bus happened at the infamous Nithi bridge in Tharaka Nithi County and claimed the life of 35 people.
The Mombasa-bound bus fell off the bridge into the river about 40 metres below at around 6:40 pm leaving the country in mourning.
Eyewitnesses said the driver of the 45-capacity vehicle appeared to lose control as the speeding bus hurled down the steep slope on the notorious blackspot.
The bus then veered off the road, hit the guard rails and rolled several times down the rocky valley before hitting the river bank with a thud.
Casualties were rushed to Chogoria Mission and Chuka Referral hospitals for treatment but unfortunately, some of them didn't come out alive.
Among those whose lives were cut short was a 29-year-old medical doctor, Dr. Mary Mwandisha who had just landed a job with the Taita Taveta County government and was on her way to collect her appointment letter when she was involved in the accident.
Earlier on, in the same month, a gang was mercilessly attacking women in Nakuru’s Bahati sub-county.
The criminal gang members who were arrested following an outcry were reportedly attacking women and girls in their homes where they rape and kill them by strangulation before burning their bodies.
Later in December 2022, another strange thing happened in Kisii that shook the nation. A 3-year-old baby who was later identified as Sagini was kidnapped and his eyes gouged out before being dumped at the family’s banana plantation.
It later turned out that the family members of the baby were the main suspects in the matter as police continue to fine-tune their investigations for prosecution.