Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Saturday, 06 May 2017 15:45 EATnmuthoni@kenyafreepress.com
There has been an outcry by commentators in social media about the imbalanced representation of the Kenyan communities in the Jubilee Party nominees for parliamentary seats in Nairobi.
Being Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi is the most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse county and the way political parties project their influence in the city signals their commitment to harmonious coexistence. Unfortunately for Jubilee, all but two of the 17 parliamentary nominees in its ticket are from one ethnic community (the Kikuyu).
The two exceptions are from the Somali and Kalenjin tribes. The Kalenjins are in coalition with the Kikuyus in the Jubilee Party, and their aspirant Nixon Korir who is vying in Langata constituency is a former personal assistant to the deputy president William Ruto.
The other candidate, Yusuf Hassan of Kamukunji, is a Somali. He had initially lost the nomination to former MP Simon Mbugua (also a Kikuyu) but was yesterday issued with the certificate on the advice of the Jubilee Appeals Board. It was believed that President Uhuru Kenyatta intervened on the matter after Somali community leaders appealed to him following the secretariat's issuance of the ticket to Mr Mbugua.
The three communities represented in the Jubilee Party tickets jointly constitute less than half of both the general population and registered voters in Nairobi County.
Some Kenyans have been making fun about the imbalanced representation of Kenyan communities in Jubilee. Omogambi Nyachae, a notable Facebook blogger, wrote: "The list of Jubilee nominees for the MP & MCAs seats in Nairobi looks like an assembly of Mau Mau descendants ready to take an oath”.
With President Uhuru Kenyatta facing a tough re-election fight, many are of the opinion that his party could have done better to get other Kenyans to run on its ticket in an area where his tribe is not the majority. In any case, he would be needing votes from other tribes for his own presidential bid for him to be back in power.
Jubilee has, however, balanced the countrywide seats. It has nominated Nairobi senator Mike Sonko (a Kamba) for the governorship and Johnson Sakaja (of Kalenjin sub-tribe Sabaot) for the senate position. Both were supported to their nomination victories by large Kikuyu vote blocs, and Mr Sonko won over a Kikuyu candidate (Peter Kenneth).
The women representative nominee is Rachel Shebesh, who is the incumbent. She is from the Kikuyu community and won the nomination over aspirants from several tribes.
Jubilee's main challenger in Nairobi ODM has nominated candidates from many of the large tribes including Kikuyu, Luo, Kisii, Kamba, Luyia and Somali for the governor, senate, women representative and constituency parliamentary seats. About a quarter of the nominees are from the Luo tribe.