By Phil Wesonga
As home to an estimated 3million vote basket, Nairobi is also the capital of the country and the seat of political and economic power in Kenya.
Thus, Nairobi is not just important for anyone running for president, it is also influential for political and economic reasons whichever way you look at it. More importantly, the ODM must understand synergy between National and County governments and use if for political leverage.
If ODM is to retain majority in the Nairobi County Assembly, attain majority MPs in Nairobi, capture the Senate and Women Representative positions; and also retain the Gubernatorial seat which Jubilee is drooling at, then it seriously has to evaluate the political value of aspirants without any bias and without any regard to the economic might of the incumbent who has shown indifference, arrogance and incompetence since he was elected.
For all intents and purposes, the only seat that wont be challenged is that of the Party Leader who is the automatic presidential candidate. All other governors, Senators, MPs and MCAs will have to submit to the people and seek nomination afresh. Even if you are Evans Kidero or Hassan Joho.
The notion gaining currency within the party ranks is that ODM loses the plot when it stands behind leaders who have lost popularity and wallow in unhelpful arrogance just because they hold political power or are billionaires. You have seen what a protest vote can do in Kericho, where a desperate Jubilee was forced to do ballot stuffing to avert an embarassing defeat. We do not need protest votes in ODM.
For instance, the present Nairobi administration has seriously antagonized every other key sector in the city; be it hawkers who are merciless teargassed, matatus who are taxed and compelled to pay unreasonable parking rates, selective renovation of schools and health centres or small businesses that operate from kiosks whose are persistently harassed by rate collectors and often have premises are flattened without notice because a deeply rooted cartel has discovered means of minting money through modernizing kiosks. To make matters worse, Kidero administration is not in good terms with its own lower level workforce. Only the higher carder of staff have their welfare well looked after.
The rest of the beneficiaries at City Hall are well known pseudo brokers and a retinue unscrupulous wheeler dealers, insider traders, international conmen, ghost suppliers, cowboy contractors, tax evaders and thieves of all shades who have surrounded the governor and made feel safe and complacent. The truth is, ODM cannot point at any single project it gained from the administration of Evans Kidero.
In 2017, hanging on to the coattails of Raila Odinga will not help non performing and arrogant governors. Attending church services or pretending to sponsor women groups will not help either. Its also laughable to keep invoking Mumias to voters in Nairobi who are thirsty not just for water but for the fruits of devolution that they see in other counties.
As for Mombasa, Busia, Kilifi, Siaya, Kwale, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kajiado, and worst of all Kisumu …. the less said the better. #2017beckons