Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 26 Sep 2016 19:54 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Last Friday's meeting between Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Nairobi governor Evans Kidero centred on the sharing of key Nairobi constituencies in which Wiper feels it has an upper hand in the 2017 general elections, the Kenya Free Press can reveal.
Wiper Party sources intimated to us that CORD could lose many of the seats currently held by ODM MPs unless the coalition partners agreed on a formula to share the constituencies long ahead of the elections to excite all its vote blocs. All current CORD MPs in Nairobi were elected on ODM. The coalition lost three others narrowly owing to competition between candidates running on affiliated tickets, a situation Wiper is fighting to avoid in 2017.
Deputy Governor Jonathan Mweke, who has indicated his intention to run for a parliamentary seat in 2017, is leading Wiper's campaign in Nairobi. He was in the meeting between Mr Musyoka and his boss Kidero at Mr Musyoka's home in Karen, Nairobi. According to a source who was briefed about the meeting, Wiper has mapped out contituencies it considers to be its strongholds where it will seek ODM's support.
The party has determined that it could forgo the deputy governor's position it currently holds and get a better deal in CORD for its members through parliamentary seats. Among the constituencies earmarked by Wiper include Embakasi South, currently held by Ishrad Sumra, Embakasi East in the hands of John Omondi, and Embakasi West and Embakasi Central held by Jubilee members George Theuri and John Ndirangu respectively.
The party is also keen on Makadara (now held by Jubilee's Ben Mutura) and Lang'ata (held by ODM's Joash Olum). The party is pushing Joshua Kitivi and nominated senator Judith Sijeny for the seats. Ngei ward MCA Dan Mutiso may run for the Mathare seat as well.
The leading Wiper aspirants Fred Musau, Roy Kivusyu and Musili Mawathe will run in Embakasi East, Embakasi West and Embakasi South respectively. On the MCA seats, Wiper hopes to retain the Mukuru kwa Njenga and Laini Saba MCA seats held by Alexander Mutisya and David Kitavi respectively.
The source indicated to us that Wiper wants the Nairobi senator's and governor's positions reserved for ODM and deputy governor's position given to Ford-Kenya. ODM would also contest all other parliamentary seats and most of MCA positions with Wiper's support.
Wiper believes that the interest by Nairobi senator Mike Sonko and businessman Harun Mwau could complicate CORD's chances of retaining the Nairobi gubernatorial seat, but it proposes the deal which it believes will offer its supporters a quid pro quo on Nairobi seats with ODM.
"In our opinion, the governor's seat is much more important than ten parliamentary seats," said the source, who reported that Mr Kidero had endorsed the party's plan which will now be discussed by CORD co-principals. Wiper wants Governor Kidero to be given automatic re-election ticket, seeing potential pitfalls in a contested nomination exercise that Mr Musyoka believes would be detrimental to CORD's interests.
Asked about Wiper's proposal, a source to CORD leader Raila Odinga indicated that the proposal was part of Wiper's effort to get a better deal from upcoming horse-trading in the coalition. "Wiper lacks the capacity to win all those seats. We will look at their plan and agree on a fair share, but theirs is a good start," the source said. By contrast, Governor Kidero has endorsed Wiper's deal, in part because of the party's assurance to support his re-election.
It is also believed in CORD circles that Wiper's willingness to do joint nominations with ODM has put pressure on Ford Kenya, whose leader Moses Wetangula wants western Kenya constituencies zoned for it. Multiple sources indicated to the Kenya Free Press that ODM is more inclined to agree on a power-sharing with Wiper than Ford Kenya.
"Look at Bungoma where the Ford Kenya leader comes from, the governor and several MPs were elected on Jubilee tickets. This didn't happen in Musyoka's strongholds. Even Wiper rebels knew better that they had to contest on CORD affiliated parties, and those who recently defected to Jubilee have writtten their political obituaries," said an ODM source.