Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 24 Mar 2017 09:00 EATpwanjiru@kenyafreepress.com
Are Jubilee Party power-brokers out to finish Nairobi senator Mike Sonko politically? This question has preoccupied political analysts in Nairobi over the last two days since the scuttling of the meeting of Jubilee Party officials and aspirants for various seats at the Bomas of Kenya yesterday.
Rival camps supporting the senator and his main opponent former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth fought bruising battles at the Bomas after they failed to agree on a list of the Nairobi County Elections Board that would oversee the party's grassroots nominations for elective positions in Nairobi.
The meeting that included all the party officials, members and the aspirants turned chaotic after the two camps failed to agree on a list of one individual from each of Nairobi's seventeen constituencies to serve on the board. The Sonko camp endorsed a list of their preferred board members, as did Kenneth's, resulting in a controversial list of 34 names.
Following the difference, Mr Sonkos supporters stormed out in protest, with the senator accusing Starehe MP Maina Kamanda of trying to rig the selecting of the board members. Mr Kamanda, being the team leader of Kenneth’s campaign in Nairobi, cannot be expected to be fair in selecting a team which is to administer the Sonko-Kenneth contest.
Mr Kamanda with his supporters after the meeting ended in disarray.
Later, Mr Sonko, accompanied by his supporters, arrived in the meeting where chaos began between the two parties. There were physical fights among the two parties and even people threw chairs to each other. Guns were also drawn in the place which turned to be confusing since they attacked even the people who were in the hall. The repeat of the exercise is yet to be announced.
According to party insiders, the Kamanda camp has realised that Sonko is unstoppable in the nomination and would try every method in the book to beat him. What the anti-Sonko camp hasn't established, according to our information, is potential cost of denying him the party's ticket. Would he run as an independent, defect to ODM or shift base to Machakos County as has been previously rumoured?
The source intimated to this website that the Kamanda-Kenneth group has hatched a plot to have President Uhuru Kenyatta personally talk Sonko out of the governor's race and instead persuade him to retain his senate position. The chaos at Bomas have also called into question the party's decision to have aspirants, who are interested parties, elect the Elections Board.