By Job Karani
The fight for Nairobi’s soul and flesh is on in earnest. Incumbent Governor Evans Kidero is at the height of his power and money if the deflection of corruption against him is anything to go by. The governor already wealthy from his previous corporate top assignments like in Mumias Sugar where he is alleged to have run the biggest company down the drains. The EACC has flagged his accounts as suspicious, awash with hundreds of millions deposited as cash from suspicious sources.
The governor is clearly not taking bananas or trash for pay. His 2017 financial war chest will be presidential on top of funding a real presidential campaign for Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta (yes, Kidero is known to be close to the Kenyatta especially Muhoho-the corporate magnate) a fact he never tires from telling anyone willing to listen. This demonstration of largesse has attracted a coterie of individuals more envious of the loot to be gained than any other consideration.
A gun trotting diminutive gangster with a clear history of violence, crime and dubious cash is a front runner already. Billboards with misspelt words already litter the city with a backstreet peddler kind of flourish. A political traitor with an oversized sense of ego and godness is walking around town mobilizing in the name of God. A feckless establishment candidate is struggling to marshal an organization of Mt Kenya money and politicians to his side but suffers a terrible name, face and skill recognition capacity. A political toddler hoisted on the president’s lap barely out of his diapers wants to go out and fight it out as well in a campaign that is a poor imitation and parody of Obama’s campaign. His campaign is a plagiarized encore even stealing words from Obama 2012. The campaign is called “Organising for Nairobi”, a pathetic copy of Obama’s “Organizing for America”.
Yet all these characters have the same background and politics. They are part of Nairobi cartels being fed on scraps by the Kidero government but are itching to have a go at the whole hog. It is a battle by cartels against cartels on who will rise to be the city’s chief butcher.
The people are lost in all these. They are the “wenyewe” that Kidero was referring to when he shamelessly said “Nairobi ina wenyewe.” The millions who live in the city are left to serve these owners in a filthy, jammed and expensive city that is built for the wenyewe and their families. Who will rise for the people?