CITY UNITY

DP Ruto, support uncontested Nairobi by-election

The 'contest-detesting' DP would have built a bridge in the metropolis

In Summary

• A non-contested gubernatorial by-election can spare some money to pay wages of some of the restless and hustling health workers

•The DP, who made a 'compelling' case for a non-contested referendum, is unusually quiet on divisive by-elections, coming in the middle of a tanking economy.

Uncontested Nairobi by-election
Uncontested Nairobi by-election
Image: OZONE

Even though Deputy President William Ruto has the ability to help Nairobi avoid a 'divisive' gubernatorial by-election in the middle of a global pandemic, he is yet to show he has the will to unite the metropolis. Uniting Kenya can begin with this one-single city step.

A non-contested gubernatorial by-election can spare some money to pay wages of some of the restless and hustling health workers, or even order the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines for frontline workers.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, often known for over-quoting to make a kill, may soon be asking for Sh4 billion to run a gubernatorial, senatorial, and parliamentary by-elections in Nairobi, Machakos, Kabuchai, and Matungu respectively.

The DP, who made a 'compelling' case for a non-contested referendum, is unusually quiet on divisive by-elections, coming in the middle of a tanking economy. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.

This is how Ruto can champion a non-divisive by-election in Nairobi:  Querulous Jubilee factions can present a single candidate, to replace impeached Mike Mbuvi Sonko. He was a Jubilee governor.  

ODM is considering supporting the Jubilee candidate to advance the handshake. This would spare Nairobi the rancour of a divisive by-election. By this act of magnanimity, Ruto would kill several birds with one stone: He would spare the economy the waste of money and strengthen their party with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He should support the choice of the President, whom he says he constitutionally assists.

The 'contest-detesting' DP would have built a bridge in the metropolis. It's partly because of its divisive nature, that he has, on many occasions, advised promoters of the BBI of the beauty of non-contestation.

A negotiated outcome would be a win-win for the city, home to many communities.

Look at it: Rabble-rouser and excitable Miguna Miguna, a Luo; hustler gatekeeper Margaret Wanjiru, a Kikuyu; former Nairobi Town clerk Philip Kisia, a Luhya, former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, a Kikuyu, and other office-seekers are queuing for a divisive by-election in the middle of a pandemic.

The year-opener contest in the capital may be an eye-opener into the backstabbing in Jubilee power relations. It also illustrates the challenges of seeking to inherit the turf of a king who is hail.

Will the DP support the President's choice for Nairobi governor to strengthen their party?  The Jubilee choice is likely to be Waweru, a member of the President's faction of the party.

Waweru may give Nairobi a gentle face of leadership, which the metropolis needs after the Sonko ruckus. But this may still be a dream. Learning may not be the forte of the miss-mass city electorate. 'Hustlers' are about to start cheering carpetbaggers.

Even if Kenyans don't care much for integrity in political leadership, the prospect of an impeached person seeking clearance to run for public office seems insane.

The drama of the clowns returns at a time Nairobi is craving better leadership. It also comes when Ruto has missed three opportunities to strengthen Jubilee during Embakasi West, Kibra, and Msambweni parliamentary by-elections as he may have wished.

It also comes soon after the DP, the self-declared patron of hustlers, belaboured his 'constitutional duty to support his boss' the President.

The mole like behaviour of impeached Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu would have been comical if it wasn't abusive to the electorate.  Mole hunters know how the feline can irritate a potato farmer.

The issues around Waititu's integrity are still raw. The man has been charged with corruption and abuse of office, but he remains innocent until proved guilty. However, the charges, on the surface, give a strong case to stop him from 'moling' around.

Waititu is trying another hole on Nairobi. His head has been knocked back to the burrow. Will he re-emerge in Embakasi West should a vacancy occur?

Were this possible, even impeached Sonko can try his luck in the Machakos Senate by-election. His Mua Hills residency makes him a citizen of Masaku, the heartland of Kamba nation.

Sonko used to work from his Mua Hills mansion when he was hiding from City Hall cabals. He often claimed the cartels wanted to take him out.