Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017 13:54 EATdkiraka@kenyafreepress.com
Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero is taking no chance in seeking re-election in an attempt to defuse the growing opposition to his administration being spearheaded by main challenger Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
And the fight is becoming most heated race for the office at City Hall Annex as Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth threatens the strongholds of Sonko especially from Mt Kenya region.
Peter Kenneth commonly referred as PK despite being an Independent an late contender appears to complicate the votes for Sonko. The Senator, however is out to snatch votes from Jonathan Mueke, Kidero’s Deputy who is a Kamba like him. Miguna Miguna is also another candidate running as an Independent, but his impact has not been felt among the city residents as well as other candidates.
This week has seen the three perceived front runners intensify the campaigns within the city to popularize their candidature.
Dr. Kidero, whom the opinion polls place in the lead, alongside his deputy Jonathan Mueke have vowed to end Sonko’s political career by defeating him in the August polls.
While stating this, Jonathan Mueke could not help but take a dig at Sonko due to his poor command of English, saying that he cannot compare to Kidero.
However compared to Sonko who has been reaching to the vulnerable members of society, Dr. Kidero is seen to have performed poorly in the administration of the city affairs which would be undoing to him during the voting time.
Addressing a rally in Tassia grounds, Embakasi East, yesterday Sonko, who was in the company of Deputy President William Ruto, said that he was confident of winning the trust of city residents.
“I want to assure you that my leadership will improve service delivery in our city so that you have a county that you will all be proud of.” he said. Sonko also advised Peter Kenneth, to shelve his political ambitions and instead throw his weight behind him (Sonko), promising him an appointment after winning the general elections poll.
Sonko, who remains Kidero’s main challenger, is popular owing to his reach to the poor in the city and a good plan for Nairobi should he win the gubernatorial , one of which includes reviewing of working hours to reduce congestion in the city.
In a bitter rebuttal, Peter Kenneth said that while Sonko has cleaned up his image and now dons suits every day, his brains and thinking remain the same.
“Even with new suits, Sonko has not changed: he is merely hiding behind those suits,” said Kenneth. He said that Sonko was incapable of running the city of Nairobi and hence, the need to clean up his image first.
Sonko had previously been known to wear very flashy clothes and golden jewelry, often called bling blingamong the young people and has always had a knack for being passionate to the extent of punching walls. However, since declaring his interest in vying for the Nairobi governor’s seat, he seems to have changed, as he has scaled back on the flashiness and now is a little more formal.
Kenneth, who was in a mood to spit fire, also went hard on the Deputy President, William Ruto, whom he accused of being the mastermind of his defeat in the Jubilee primaries which were held on April 27th, which Sonko won. He claimed that Sonko supporters were allowed to vote multiple times, a move he says was aided by ‘someone high up in the party hierarchy.’
“They ensured that they (Sonko supporters) voted twice, thrice, 10 times, and the worst case was where an individual voted a record 51 times.” Kenneth told a crowd at Mlango Kubwa in Mathare.
Despite seen as a non-starter Miguna Miguna,is the only candidate among all others with a detailed manifesto for what he can do for Nairobi County. His manifesto is a public document and can be accessed through his website www.migunamiguna.com. He has made it his personal campaign to fight cartels, whom he blames for the woes Nairobi County is facing.
A quick peruse through Miguna’s Twitter timeline reveals that he, alongside his running mate Wangenye Karen enjoy support from a majority of the Nairobi public although whether this translates to actual votes in the ballot remains to be seen, as Kenyans on Twitter, or KoT, as they are widely known, are mostly quick with their fingers but not so much with their feet. This becomes blatantly evident when an Infotrack survey revealed Miguna Miguna to only be popular to 1.2% of Kenyans.
As in keeping with the spirit of this year’s election, which promises to be one of the most unpredictable, a teacher has thrown himself into the fray. Christopher Mokaya, a Bachelor of Education graduate from Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, declared his interest in the seat in May and already has campaign posters set up in a bid to upset protocol. Mokaya is also a techpreneur, with a communication and Data firm called Afromedia.
Mokaya called his desire to run for the gubernatorial seat as a calling to serve and to serve at the capital’s top seat. His slogan is “Kijana Bora Jiji Bora.’ Mokaya also declared that he was running for the seat not as a politician but as a leader and a servant.
With the gubernatorial race attracting even ordinary Kenyans, there is little doubt that this year’s election will mark perhaps, a new dawn in which Kenyans express their democratic right without hindrance. The huge number of independent candidates is a reflection of that. Or could it be just a false dawn? Only August 8th will tell.