Nairobi MPs plan to lock Sonko out of 2017 governor elections
A group of Jubilee Alliance politicians have hatched a plot to stop Senator Mike Gideon Sonko from becoming the next Governor of Nairobi.
Though he has never publicly said so, Sonko is currently doing his undergraduate studies at Kenya Methodist University (KEMU), which is interpreted as a sign of preparing to take a shot at the position now occupied by the Governor, Dr Evans Kidero.
A number of TNA leaders in Nairobi unhappy with Sonko’s style of leadership argue his image “is a disaster for business in Nairobi”.
The group says that while Sonko got “all the Kikuyu votes” in his successful bid for the senatorial seat, he did not deliver the Kamba vote to candidate Uhuru Kenyatta at the 2013 general election.
The group, which coalesces around Starehe MP Maina Kamanda, and involves all TNA elected MPs in Nairobi, is grooming Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, who they plan to sponsor to carry Jubilee’s flag in the next general election.
However, Kamanda yesterday dismissed the claims, saying they were being peddled by individuals whose intention is to divide the ruling coalition’s leadership in the capital.
“All elected Jubilee leaders in Nairobi are working as a team and any talk of grooming somebody for whatever seat is a diversionary tactic. It is being peddled by people out to divide us,” Kamanda said.
He said the matter of who will contest which seat has never been discussed because, in the view of the team, “this is the time for development and not politics”.
He said Sonko is very much part of the team and dismissed claims that the group was plotting to curtail the flamboyant legislator’s political ambitions.
“You have seen [Ferdinard] Waititu playing a major role in our activities. We are grooming no one, that is why Waititu is with us. In any case, it is too early to determine such things.”
When the Star contacted Waweru, he was non-committal, saying, “Only God knows who will be the next governor of Nairobi”.
He went on: “For now I still have the mandate of the people of Dagoretti South. But we shall cross that bridge when we get there”.
He did not elaborate.
Sonko confirmed he is aware of the plot and declared that he is ready for the battle.
“I remain loyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government. My focus for now is to help Jubilee deliver on its election pledges. Most of people attacking me will not make it because they have failed to deliver,” he said.
Sonko and the MPs hardly ever see eye-to-eye and their relationship has been characterised by suspicion and a push for control of TNA in Nairobi.
The dispute between the two sides has been explained as the reason behind TNA’s abysmal performance in the Mathare byelection last year.
ODM’s Stephen Kariuki easily trounced TNA’s George Wanjohi after internal squabbles that saw the MPs reject Sonko as the leader of the party’s campaign team.