VOTE-HUNT

Nairobi politics intensifies as leaders launch campaigns

Incumbents and the aspirants have started ‘kwa ground’ tours and talks to woo voters

In Summary
  • Last week, Deputy President William Ruto kicked off his ‘Kazi ni Kazi’  tour in Nairobi which is set to end Monday.
  • The hottest seat is the governor position which already has various candidates ahead of party nominations.
An aerial view of Nairobi City.
An aerial view of Nairobi City.
Image: MERCY MUMO

With seven months to the general election, the race for Nairobi county's governor has started to gain momentum.

In an attempt to charm voters, some of the elected leaders and the aspirants have started ‘kwa ground’ tours and talks.

Nairobi county has 17 sub counties and 85 wards, with the two dominant political parties being Jubilee and ODM.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto kicked off his ‘Kazi ni Kazi’  tour in Nairobi which is set to end today (Monday).

Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu addressing residents on Mukuru Kwa Njnega on January14, 2021
Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu addressing residents on Mukuru Kwa Njnega on January14, 2021
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

Joining him were leaders seeking to defend their seats and those seeking to form the next county government of Nairobi from MCAs, MPs , senators, and governors.

Meanwhile, the current elected MCAs have retreated back to their wards to renew their manifestos ahead of election.

A section of the nominated MCAs have also decided to take a higher step and seek to be elected in different wards.

Not falling behind are some Nairobi gubernatorial aspirants who have embarked on a ‘city tour’. They are locked in a consultative meeting with different groups of people in the society.

Despite having the most number of MCAs in the city, it is not clear whether Jubilee will be fielding a candidate. 

The president for Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Richard Ngatia meeting with various women groups in South C, Nairobi on January 13, 2022
The president for Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Richard Ngatia meeting with various women groups in South C, Nairobi on January 13, 2022
Image: HANDOUT

The hottest seat is the governor position which already has various candidates ahead of party nominations.

Some of those who declared an interest seat include Nairobi Governor Kananu, Senator Johnson Sakaja, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi.

Others include Makadara MP George Aldwa, former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, businesswoman Agnes Kagure and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Richard Ngatia. 

The KNCCI boss has stepped up his campaigns, meeting women groups, traders and student leaders within Nairobi in what he calls 'meet and greet’ in an attempt to sell his agenda for the county.

The business tycoon also met a section of Nairobi MCAs drawn from both Jubilee and ODM.

Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Agnes Kagure when she fficially launched her candidature at Kasarani Indoor Arena on January 7, 2022
Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Agnes Kagure when she fficially launched her candidature at Kasarani Indoor Arena on January 7, 2022
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

Businesswoman Agnes Kagure who recently launched her candidature for the top seat has also not trailed behind on the city tours.

Determined to be the first elected female governor of Nairobi, she has also started selling her agenda to the city residents with her five-point agenda.

Kagure's manifesto involves reorganising the public transport sector to ease the movement of people.

She also pledged to install security lights in all 85 wards in Nairobi, saying it will help in curbing insecurity that has become a thorny issue in the city.

On unemployment, the businesswoman announced that her administration will create one million jobs in her five-year tenure in office.

Kagure's administration will set up investments platforms where small and medium-sized enterprises will explore and excel in their ventures.

Taking advantage of gender factor, Kagure has roped in the support of various women groups in the city. 

Throwing her support behind Raila, Kagure  highlighted that this year's politics must be agenda-based and free from deceit, arm-twisting, and intimidation

"Nairobians finally have a chance to give the gubernatorial seat to a deserving holder," she said.

"I believe that we can bring back the Nairobi we once knew. The city of opportunities and possibilities, and not lamentations and frustrations. We can get it done." 

Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu addressing residents on Mukuru Kwa Njnega on January14, 2022
Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu addressing residents on Mukuru Kwa Njnega on January14, 2022
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

The incumbent Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu, who vowed to defend the seat in the forthcoming polls, also appears to have left her "comfort zone" and joined the city tours.

In the company of Ida Odinga, Kananu took the meeting to the people of Mukuru kwa Njenga, who were recently affected by demolitions.

“Rome was never built in a day. Nairobians, give me time to work on the issues that concern our great county. We will reach Canaan, I promise,” Kananu said.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja at the PCEA Muringato and New Life church in Nyeri on July 18, 2021.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja at the PCEA Muringato and New Life church in Nyeri on July 18, 2021.
Image: TWITTER/JOHNSON SAKAJA

Senator Sakaja believes Nairobi would be better and safer in his hands as he won't be a one-man show.

He said he will hire a city manager, get along with State House and permanently solve problems with transit and other master plans.

He said his predecessors Evans Kidero was too technical while impeached Mike  Sonko was too political and squandered goodwill. 

Sakaja also argued that serving as Nairobi Senator allowed him to pass laws that were impactful to the city and he is now seeking an opportunity to implement them.

Deputy President Willaim Ruto and former Starehe Mp Bishop Margaret Wanjiru in Mathare on January 13,2022
Deputy President Willaim Ruto and former Starehe Mp Bishop Margaret Wanjiru in Mathare on January 13,2022
Image: HANDOUT

Bishop Wanjiru has also expressed confidence that she will become Nairobi’s first elected female governor.

Westlands MP Tim Wanonyi speaking during the launch his bid for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat at KICC on November 13, 2021
Westlands MP Tim Wanonyi speaking during the launch his bid for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat at KICC on November 13, 2021
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Westlands MP Wanyonyi who was the first to launch his bid for the gubernatorial seat last year said if elected,  he will bring something which his predecessors lacked in leadership, integrity and professionalism.

For the past 15 years, Wanyonyi has served Nairobi, first as a nominated councillor between 2007 and 2013 and then as MP for Westlands constituency since 2013.

Meanwhile, Aladwa is expected to officially launch his bid this month.

The legislator last month announced that will be seeking the seat on an ODM ticket, arguing he was the best pick to lead the city.

“I want to make it clear that I will be in the race and I am doing it for the people because they want me to move to the next level,” Aladwa added.

It is expected that in the coming days, the Nairobi political race will get intense with more players joining the tours. 

(edited by Amol Awuor)