NAIROBI POLITICS

Battle for the city as political realignments take shape

In August 2017 elections, Jubilee Party had the majority of elected Mps in Nairobi followed by Orange Democratic Party .

In Summary

• Nairobi County has the highest number of sub-counties in the country.

• Jubilee Party had the majority of elected MPs in Nairobi followed by ODM party.

A composite image of the ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) and Deputy President William Ruto.
A composite image of the ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) and Deputy President William Ruto.
Image: COURTESY

The battle for the control of city politics has started in earnest, and a lot more is expected to happen as politicians align themselves.It is said that the fight for Nairobi revolves around the control of lucrative contracts and business opportunities that accrue to political parties who control the capital city.

Already, city legislators have aligned themselves in camps, with the majority leaning either towards Deputy President William Ruto or former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Nairobi County has the highest number of sub-counties in the country at 17 and has 85 wards.

In the August 2017 elections, Jubilee Party had the majority of elected MPs in Nairobi, followed by the Orange Democratic Movement party.

Jubilee had won in 9 sub counties; Starehe, Embakasi West, Embakasi Central, Embakasi North, Langata, Dagoretti South, Kasarani, Roysambu and Kamukunji.

ODM bagged 7 seats in Makadara, Ruaraka, Mathare, Kibera, Westlands, Dagoretti North and Embakasi East. Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper managed to secure Embakasi South.

However, the 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila had led to the mapping out of alignments in the city.

The Building Bridges Initiative also managed to push the Nairobi politicians further into camps, which still was Ruto against the two handshake brothers.

Some Jubilee MPs joined forces with ODM, which still has an impact o the current alignments.

Jubilee Party, which is seemingly on its death bed, has pushed its members, some of whom have now joined the United Democratic Alliance party, and others are in the Azimio la Umoja camp.

Both camps are scheming to outdo each other in the battle to control Nairobi politics ahead of the August 2022 polls.

A vicious fight is expected to be witnessed at the parliamentary levels because each side appears to have identified candidates already.

Currently, we have six MPs allied to DP Ruto; George Theuri (Embakasi West), Nixon Korir (Lang'ata), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central), Charles Kanyi (Starehe) and James Gakuya (Embakasi North).

Raila Odinga has managed to get a grasp of Jubilee MPs who include Timothy Wanyonyi (Westlands), Bernad Okoth (Kibra), Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani), Tom Kanjwang (Ruaraka), George Aladwa (Makadara), Anthony Olouch (Mathare), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji), and Simba Arati (Dagoretti North).

Embakasi South's Julius Mawathe is still under Wiper Party, which is aligned to One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

More alignments are expected as party nominations near, with some of the elected MPs seeking positions in other counties and new aspirants coming up.