The race for the Mathare Constituency has not even been declared open, but sources inform us that a former Vice Chair of the Student Organization of Nairobi University (SONU) and well known political operative Fwamba NC Fwamba is setting in place a machinery to upset the balance and capture the seat.
Our sources indicate Fwamba who also leads the Kenya Young Voters Alliance, has already constituted a team to work out the logistics and is currently reaching out to key political and industry leaders in the city and nation to mount a serious bid for the seat.
It is instrumental to note that Mr. Stephen Kariuki, also known as K1, the son to the former MP for Starehe, and ODM Senator candidate Hon Bishop Dr. Magaret Wanjiru Â has already been assured of the ODM ticket, through the party’s well-known Modus Operandi, the infamous direct ticket. In fact, just last week, the former contender for the ODM Secretary General position, Hon. Ababu Namwamba led the Team Ababu to a thanksgiving party to celebrate the High Court Decision, which declared that the elections in Mathare were neither free nor fair.
A repeat poll is expected to be announced soon, once the seat is formally declared vacant, but all indications suggest that K1 will eventually get the ODM ticket, much to the consternation of the Mathare residents who may expected a free and fair nomination process.
On the other hand, the ruling coalition TNA is expected to unveil the current incumbent MP, Mr. Wanjohi as its flag bearer. The dueling contest between these two parties is mouthwatering indeed, and each camp is going all out to secure a win, which will cement their dominance over the politics of Nairobi City.
This is why pundits contend that the Mathare seat race will chart new grounds for either of the leading coalition or the wounded CORD coalition, or offer hope to a new loose coalition of marginalized parties out to prove a point. Another view is that Mathare may as well become the first constituency in Nairobi to have an independent candidate as the ultimate victor.
The entry of Mr. Fwamba into the race is likely to complicate matters, as he is well known, with an aggressive political acumen and understanding of the politics of the city.
Mr. Fwamba is said to be reaching out to key leaders targeting the Somali, luhya, luo, Kisii and the Kamba community to front a brand new face, and is expected to rely on the networks he established while campaigning for former President Kibaki to deliver a huge chunk of the kikuyu voters.
It is believed that with Fwamba’s well established political network, he is currently projected as a favorite by most of the current sitting members of parliament both from TNA and the CORD Coalitions.
Fwamba is well known in Huruma, Kiamaiko and Mabatini, where he has executed a number of development projects before. Sources intimate that so far, Fwamba has been approached by two parties, who are keen to have him as their candidate in the elections.
The winds in the sails for such a candidacy is the perennial use of undemocratic means to give undeserving candidates, who buy their way, party tickets, hence dis-enfranchising the populace.
It is also rumored that a section of the ODM leadership belonging to one of the factions has already considered Fwamba as the best option in order to trim Ababu Namwamba who is trying to steal the show in this campaign. Finally, it is important to add that Fwamba’s candidature is also attracting interest from key Luhya leaders who are keen to use it to finally achieve the elusive Luhya unity.
It is important to note here that despite the fact that the community is second largest in the country, it only has one Member of Parliament in the City County who is not as outspoken as majority of the voters would wish for, hence this dimension may give Fwambas campaign a lot of mileage.
We can only wait to see how the Mathare by-election will go, as it seems, TNA and ODM will have to be ready for a battle royale with a face off with the well-connected and resourced Fwamba NC Fwamba