Sakaja, Sonko, Waiguru and 3 others to challenge Kidero


Nairobr Governor raceIt’s turning into a crowded race for Jubilee as more aspirants prepare to seek the ruling party’s ticket for the position of Nairobi Governor.

The Star has learnt that the entry of former Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru in the race has complicated matters for Jubilee.

Jubilee strategists had not expected Waiguru’s endorsement by a group of women at the iconic Ufungamano House, Nairobi, on Wednesday, the Star was told by sources within the party.

“We will have to go back to the drawing board. Waiguru’s potential candidature seems to be exciting some quarters and we have to now think of how to accommodate this, especially coming from women – who have a substantial vote,” a senior Jubilee strategist said.

The quest for the Jubilee ticket to wrest and reclaim Nairobi from Cord’s Governor Evans Kidero has attracted six people so far, though not all have declared publicly.

Former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru has declared her interest and her team has been on the ground setting up campaign structures.

Wanjiru decamped from ODM and joined TNA, but Jubilee elected leaders in Nairobi have not publicly declared their support.

Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru has also declared his interest, though his activities around the capital slowed down towards the end of last year.

Waweru had been seen as a frontrunner for months on end, having been endorsed by the Central Kenya Parliamentary Group for the seat.

Yesterday, Waweru confirmed to the Star that he was still in the race but divulged no details of his plan. There has been talk that Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko will also be seeking the Jubilee gubernatorial ticket, but he has not formally announced his candidature.

In January last year during the burial of former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua’s mother, Sonko remarked casually that he would go for the position.

Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja, who is also TNA chairman, is expected to throw his hat into the ring.

Yesterday Sakaja said he is aware of widespread discussions about his potential candidature and would “consider and make a decision in due course”.

“Right now I am focused and dedicating my energy to strengthening the new Jubilee Party and getting young people to register as voters as well as dealing with the issues affecting them,” Sakaja said.

He went on, “What is clear is that as Jubilee we must reclaim the city and we will eventually get the right candidate.”

Despite backing Kidero’s re-election bid last year, former Kilome MP Harun Mwau is also said to be preparing to move to Jubilee and seek the ticket.

Yesterday, Starehe MP Maina Kamanda said that the interest in the governorship was welcome and healthy for political competition.

“It is still very early but there is no problem with people declaring their interest. We also have to wait until the primaries, as the party has no preferred candidate yet,” Kamanda, who is also the Jubilee Party coordinator in Nairobi, said.

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