NAIROBI POLITICS

Why Luhya nation wants Nairobi governor seat

Luhya community drawn from ODM says Nairobi's top seat is what they want.

In Summary

• The first Governor of the City Evans Kidero is from the Luo community and was deputised by Jonathan Mueke from Ukambani region.

• The group drawn from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party said that Nairobi's top seat is their only bargaining power.

An aerial view of Nairobi City.
An aerial view of Nairobi City.
Image: MERCY MUMO

The ethnic factor plays a huge role in Kenya's elections.

Most ethnic groups back their sons and daughters gunning for various elective seats.

A section of Luhya nation identifying themselves as the 'Mulembe Grassroot Leaders'now demands that the Nairobi governor seat should be preserved for them ahead of the August 9, elections.

Led by Vincent Shimoli, the group drawn from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party said Nairobi's top seat is their only bargaining power.

“We know the presidential seat is heading to Nyanza region and where the deputy president's position is heading to. As Luhya community, the Nairobi governor's seat is what we want now,” Shimoli said.

As it stands, three aspirants seeking to succeed Governor Ann Kananu hail from the Western region.

They include; Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, Makadara's George Aladwa and Senator Johnson Sakaja.

The grassroots leaders drawn from the city county's 85 wards endorsed MP Wanyonyi for the governor seat.

At the same time, they argued that their community had been overshadowed in the past two general elections in Nairobi.

They said their presence has not been felt in the corridors of city hall in the last 10 years.

The first Governor of the City Evans Kidero is from the Luo community and was deputised by Jonathan Mueke who hails from the Ukambani region.

The second administration saw Ukambani's son Mike Sonko take over and was deputised by Polycarp Igathe from the Mt. Kenya region.

With the Impeachment of Sonko, governor Ann Kananu was sworn in as Nairobi's third Governor. She is from the Meru community in the larger Mt Kenya region.

In terms of Parliamentary seats, only two legislators are drawn from the Western region – Aladwa and Wanyonyi.

At the Senate, we have Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who is also in the race to succeed Kananu.

The Luhya community has and continues to play an integral part in Kenya's politics due to its huge population.

According to the 2019 census, the community was estimated to have a population of about 6.82 million people, second to the Kikuyu community at 8.14 million people.

The Kalenjins came in third at 6.35million.

Edited by B. Marita