Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 19 May 2017 18:15 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Former Gatanga MP and 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth today announced a long-shot campaign for the Nairobi governorship, running without the backing of any political party. Barely three months after resigning from his position as a leader of a political party to join the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee, Mr Kenneth has now resigned from the governing party as well to contest to run as an independent candidate.
Though widely popular among his supporters, Mr Kenneth lacks the following to make him a front-runner in the race without the backing of Jubilee, whose ticket he lost to Nairobi senator Mike Sonko in a one-sided primary early last month. Mr Kenneth enjoyed the strong support of President Kenyatta, who at one time endorsed him during a funeral ceremony in Muranga County.
In Mr Sonko's circles, it was widely believed that Mr Kenneth was running to spoil the chances of their candidate. "It would be naiva for Kenneth to think that he can win. His humiliation in 2013 elections, when he was beaten even by (Abduba) Dida should have taught him a lesson. We believe he is bitter for the resounding victory Sonko got during the primary," said a Sonko aide who has briefed this website on the Jubilee primaries.
It is also widely believed that Mr Kenneth laid part of the blame for his loss on the doorstep of deputy president William Ruto who strongly supported Sonko during the primaries. Yesterday, after Mr Sonko announced the appointment of his running mate Polycap Igathe, the DP immediately endorsed the line-up and asked all Jubilee supporters in Nairobi to rally behind the team.
Last month, this website reported that Mr Ruto's leadership of Jubilee nomination process addressed Mr Sonko's concerns that the party machinery would be used to influence Peter Kenneth's win as Mr Ruto was strongly supportive of the senator's ambitions over that of Mr Kenneth.
Below is the full statement from Mr Kenneth when making the announcement-
Members of the Fourth Estate, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming.
After extensive consultation and reflection I would like to let Nairobians know that I am in the race to be your Governor as an Independent Candidate.
I want to let Nairobians know that they have a sound, sober and visionary choice and that together we can put behind the incompetence and frustration of the last 4 years behind us and change Nairobi. The incompetence and frustration presided over by Governor Evans Kidero and Senator Mike Sonko.
The Jubilee nominations were a sham; they were NOT free, fair or credible. On August 8th we expect an independent and credible election where the voice of the people will be heard.
This decision is much bigger than the just concluded nominations.
Nairobi is a great city, it is crying for leadership we cannot afford another second of bad leadership. Over the last 4 years Governor Kidero has collected almost 100 billion shillings. This works out to almost 5 million shillings of our money going down the drain every day yet our taps run dry and garbage fills our streets. There is nothing to show for it.
This money could have transformed Nairobi. What has Governor Kidero done with our money? And what has the Senator Mike Sonko done to protect our money from misuse?
If I am elected Governor all Nairobians will feel the full impact of our resources. The transformation will be across the County, it will be visible.
I promise Nairobians a new scale of service delivery for example:
• In 90 days the garbage on the streets, on the roads and in our markets will be GONE. The streets will be clean, sewers will be unblocked drainage will flow. And it will stay this way as long as I am Governor.
• In 18 months I will remove the 16 roundabouts that cause unbearable traffic jams, reduce congestion on our roads and make it possible for everyone in the city, those who are walking and those who are driving to move around easily and affordably.
• In 3 years I will upgrade County facilities: markets, schools etc; renovate existing facilities, build and furnish much needed classrooms and ensure that our children can learn in a comfortable and neat environment.
My principles and values towards public service remain the same; I believe in results; I work with integrity and most importantly I work with and for the people.
Nairobi is at a crossroads. This election will decide the future of this county for our children and our children’s children. Let us make the right choices. On August 8th, together we can make Nairobi a place we can all be proud to call home regardless of age, gender, tribe or race.
God Bless Our City. Asanteni Sana.