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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 1 March 2015

UNFOLDING EVENTS IN CITY POLITICS

Dagorreti South MP is secretly scheming to be the next Nairobi governor on a Jubilee Alliance Party.
But his entry in the governorship race is complicating matters in Jubilee which has Nairobi senator Mike Sonko and Margaret Wanjiru also scrambling to run on Jap ticket.
To show how serious Waweru is, last week, he agreed to fund Ferdinand Waititu to be nominated as Jap candidate in Kabete constituency by-election following the death of George Muchai.
Last week, just as a beginning, Waweru gave Waititu Sh500,000 to start networking in Kabete ahead of the by-election nomination.
One may ask why Waweru wants Waititu out of Nairobi county. First, it is said he wants to inherit his vote bloc he got during the 2013 governship race against Evans Kidero. Waititu emerged second. Insiders say Waititu has agreed to go for Kabete seat since his family has roots in Wangige and by the time he is in parliament, he will run for Kiambu governoship seat in 2017 currently held by William Kabogo. Kabogo is not getting on well with local MPs who accuse him of sidelining them in development.
In Kabete to show how serious Waititu candidate is, an aspirant for the by-election on Jap Simon  Mungai has stepped down in favour of Waititu.
Source say TNA MPs and MCAs from Kikuyuland have hatched a plot to sideline outsiders come 2017. They want their own to be in charge of Nairobi county in which they claim they have invested heavily. To them with Uhuru going for his last term for presidency, realignment in city politics is necessary for post-Uhuru era. They are also not sure if Uhuru will win his second term bid with the complex factors affecting his deputy William Ruto at International Criminal Court.
In the scheme is Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Kasarani MP John Chege and Roysambu’s Waihenya Ndirangu. The group has the backing of Nairobi women representative Rachael Shebesh. Shebesh is said to be bitter Sonko is grooming Esther Passaris to oppose her in 2017.
Insiders within the scheme say the idea is to front one Kikuyu to go for the seat and then bargain with other tribes to be backed for senatorship now Sonko is not going for it. A move to replace Akamba to go for senatorship is being worked on and the name of Alfred Mutua is being mentioned. They say Mutua as the governor of Machakos is being fought due to his relationship with Jubilee. For now his survival in Machakos politics looks bleak if Raila Odinga decides to back Kalonzo Musyoka in 2017 presidential race.
The move is said to be splitting Jap down the middle in Nairobi politics. To complicate matters is the Wanjiru factor. His son Steve Kariuki the Mathare MP on ODM ticket has joined forces involved in the schemes.
Word has it, they want him to convince his mother to go for women representatives. The young Kariuki despite being an ODM MP is said to enjoy relationship with State House. He is married to a sister of Jomo Gechaga, Uhuru’s nephew who is also his private secretary.
The infighting in Jap is said to be a blessing in disguise for Kidero who within ODM has no candidate in the party to oppose him. Kidero is one of the key financiers of the Cord alliance and no candidate has the resources and muscle to financially oil a spirited campaign to counter monied Kikuyu tycoons. Nairobi politics apart from ethnic basis also revolves around money. In fact, it is said besides the presidential campaigns, Nairobi governorship is the next when it comes to use of resources. Word has it, Kidero gets on well with all the main players in Cord and is one of those funding the Kajiado Central by-election and that is why sometimes back, he was at the Orange House with leading Cord luminaries where he pledged his loyalty to the party. 
The newcomer in city politics Waweru is said to enjoy the support of Uhuru cousin Beth Mugo. Sources say the idea is to isolate Sonko and leave him lonely in Nairobi politics.
Back to Kabete politics, the entry of Waititu is the talk of town. He was raised in Kibera’s Laini Saba slumsn where he still owns hundreds of shacks and started as a councillor in Nairobi City Council where he rose to deputy mayor and later became MP of Embakasi before his ambition to be the governor was thwarted Kidero.
Sources indicate that at least six other aspirants are set to pull out of the race in favour of Waititu and Lewis Nguyai. Nguyai, however, is blamed by voters for having been used by anti-Uhuru forces to fix Uhuru at the ICC.
Among the candidates expected to vie for the seat include Nguyai, Wanjiku Kinuthia Makumi and James Wanjohi alias Kaana Funny who vied for the seat in the last election. Why Waititu has decided to back Waweru in city politics against Sonko, a man who campaigned for him is the question. How Sonko will navigate the plot being facilitated by a section at State House not comfortable with him is eagerly awaited to be seen. However, already the Eastlands voter bloc which is the majority, is said to be thinking twice and see Waweru as an outsider. But going by his ethnic background, he cannot be ruled out.