Sonko, Shebesh dump Waititu, support Mbaru
Nairobi, Kenya: The National Alliance candidate for Nairobi governor has suffered a setback after two of his close allies jumped ship to support one of his rivals.
On Wednesday, Gideon Mbuvi Sonko and Rachel Shebesh declared they will support Ferdinand Waititu’s rival Jimnah Mbaru who is vying for the governor seat on Alliance Party of Kenya ticket following a falling out in the TNA camp.
Sources indicated that the two met with Mbaruin a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday to strike a deal on how to campaign as a team.
They are said to have taken the decision following suspicions within their camp, just four days before Monday’s General Election.
When contacted, Sonko said there was nothing wrong in working with Mbaru.
The ex-legislator hinted that they had disagreed between themselves after reports emerged thatWaititu was allegedly supporting his rivals for the senate seat.
“There is nothing wrong if I work with Mbaru. After all we also received reports that Waititu has been secretly campaigning for my rival Margret Wanjiru,” he said.
However, Waititu dismissed the move as inconsequential saying his support is not in the duo’s pocket but with voters.
“My votes are not in the pockets of Sonko and Shebesh but with the people who will decide in four days from now,” he said.
The former Embakasi MP’s bid may suffer a setback following the latest development as the three previously campaigned as a team. They are also in the same billboards across the city.
In the run up to January parties nomination, the three politicians campaigned as a team and even had a joint secretariat to coordinate their activities.
But soon after they clinched their party nominations, Sonko and Shebesh isolated themselves and are currently working from a secretariat in Kilimani area.
Sources indicate that Sonko and Shebesh move follows sustained pressure by some influential businessmen especially who have been pushing for the Mbaru ticket.
The business community has even been pressuring TNA presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta to endorse Mbaru arguing that he is the best suited to safeguard the interests of the business community in Nairobi.
Waititu and Mbaru are battling against ODM’s Evans Kidero, FPK’s Philip Kisia and Wiper’s Mutinda Kavemba for the Nairobi governor seat.
With recent opinion polls indicating thatWaititu was trailingKidero, the pro- Mbaruteam argues that the TNA candidate will not be easily sold to the middle class and business communist although he may be popular among the masses in the informal settlements.
This is being interpreted as part of the scheme to isolate Waititu but TNA media liaison strategist Moses Kuria dismissed the plot as mere propaganda.
“There is now way Uhuru can support a candidate from another party when TNA has fielded one. Come to Uhuru Park on Saturday and see Waititubeing endorsed,” Kuria added.