By Paul Mukana
A section of Luhya leaders from Nairobi county have complicated the political arithmetic of the Azimio coalition in the battle to unveil the coalition’s Nairobi gubernatorial candidate.
The leaders have vividly dug in with a series of demands which have sparked outrage inside Raila Odinga’s kitchen cabinet.
“So, these are the minimum irreducible demands;The governor of Nairobi ,and the governor is here, hon.Tim Wanyonyi, the senator and the senator is here SG wakili Edwin Sifuna, and there is nobody else who has asked for the ODM tickets,it is just only them,” said Philip Kisia, MP aspirant Westlands.
Speaking to the media in Nairobi on Tuesday, the leaders poured cold water on the ongoing statehouse talks concerning a possible consensus.
The leaders included ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna ,Makadara MP George Aladwa and his Sirisia colleague John Waluke, former speaker Beatrice Elachi, Philip Kisia among others.
“5 parliamentary seats, and we are just being reasonable, we should have asked for 8,we also demand a minimum of 24 wards in the county of Nairobi,” Kisia added.
ODM party had already settled for Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi as its gubernatorial candidate.
However, sources indicate that statehouse negotiations are at an advanced stage in an attempt to woo Wanyonyi to withdraw and deputize Jubilee’s Polycarp Igadhe.
Apparently, the talks were jeopardized when Jubilee’s aspirants Richard Ngatia, Agness Kagure and Ann Kananu insisted that neither of them was willing to throw in the towel.
“It’s not about me, it’s about us.Am still in the race but the decision of the coalition be will also add the wait on it or subtract,so we will wait for that communication which will be made soon,” said Tim Wanyonyi.
According to Edwin Sifuna, the Jubilee party bureaucrats are master planning an anti-Wanyonyi battle.
“Here in Nairobi, we don’t have any problem for each party fielding their own candidate,Tim Wanyonyi was the only candidate for the ODM gubernatorial ticket.The problem of not giving him a ticket is not inside ODM,it is our friends inside Azimio saying we wait first for negotiations,” Sifuna noted.
The scramble for Nairobi county’s adminstration is powered by the fact that it is the capital city and boosts of huge social-economic development plan.
With a population of over 4 million, Nairobi county has 2.2 milion registered voters, 85 wards and 17 constituencies.
The constituencies are; Mathare,Starehe,Kamukunji,Makadara, Embakasi West, Embakasi East, Embakasi central, Embakasi south, Embakasi North, Ruaraka,Kasarani,Roysambu,Kibra, Lang’ata,Dagoreti south , Dagoreti north and Westlands.
The Kenya Kwanza coalition has already settled on senator Johnson Sakaja as its gubernatorial candidate.
It is a move that has sparkled jitters and thrown down the gauntlet to the Azimio team who are yet to pick their candidate before the set deadline.
Political pundits have already pointed out how the Nairobi county politics will directly affect the presidential battle between Azimio’s flag bearer Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto.
At the moment, the Kenya Kwanza team is gearing to field candidates for all available elective seats across Nairobi county.
Thus, Raila is walking a tightrope because ODM is under pressure to sacrifice the Nairobi gubernatorial seat for Jubilee.