By Maurice Orori
For Peter Kenneth to clinch the Nairobi Governor seat on Jubilee ticket, he has to balance tribal interests in the city and party interests in Jubilee. First, while in terms of tribal arithmetic, the Nairobi Governor in 2017 is again a contest between the Luos and Kikuyus, it shall be decided by the small tribes in the city. Peter Kenneth and Nairobi Jubilee has to ensure that they lock in the interests of the Kambas, Kisiis and Luhyias in the city to outsmart Kidero.
So far, Team Peter Kenneth has ensured that the tribal interests of Kamba and Kisii minority in Jubilee is well-taken care of by embracing Mutinda Kavemba (Kamba) and Millie Omanga (Kisii) as the preferred Senator and Women Rep. candidates for the team. As it is, Peter Kenneth is remaining with only one card, Deputy Governor to entrench or isolate the interests of the Luhyias from his bandwagon.
Therefore, the question is not whether or not Peter Kenneth should nominate a Luhyia Running Mate, it is a question of who and when! In fact, as to the matter of time, the stock answer is the sooner the better. The vexing question is who, and we dare assert that Peter Kenneth needs to be keen to employ the Deputy Governor position not only to balance the tribal equation but also to balance party affiliations.
There are four Jubilee party persuasions that bear on Jubilee politics in Nairobi, namely former TNA followers, former URP adherents, former New Ford Kenya (NFK) members and Kamba defectors. Already, TNA followers are well-represented in Peter Kenneth camp by Jubilee incumbent Nairobi MPs and MCAs led by Nairobi Jubilee PG Chairman Maina Kamanda. URP is well represented by Hon Millie Omanga (Women Rep) and Hon Mutinda Kavemba represents Kamba defectors in Jubilee.
Traditionally, Luhyias in Nairobi divide their support between ODM and Luhyia affiliate parties namely, ANC, Ford Kenya and New Ford Kenya (NFK). It is why Jubilee poached NFK to win over a chunck of Luhyias in the city to Jubilee. It is after CS Eugene Wamalwa’s party NFK dissolved to support Jubilee, that the party now boasts conditional support of majority of Luhyias in Nairobi.
I say the Jubilee support of Luhyias in Nairobi, majority of whom are erstwhile NFK members, is conditional because it is pegged on the community’s interests in the city being take care of to their satisfaction. Nairobi Luhyias in Jubilee have been unequivocal that their preferred Nairobi Governor candidate is their former Party (NFK) leader Eugene Wamalwa. In the event that Eugene Wamalwa is not Jubilee Candidate as it seems likely, it would be foolhardy to think he still does not have influence.
As we noted above, all the other tribal interests have been taken care of by Team Peter Kenneth except the Luhyia interests. Additionally, all the party interests have been taken care of except the New Ford Kenya’s interests in Nairobi Jubilee. This can only mean one thing: in choosing his running mate, Peter Kenneth must appreciate that not all Luhyias are made equal.
Only a Luhyia who is affiliated to New Ford Kenya will fit the bill. In fact, it will help if the said Luhyia enjoys the patronage of Eugene Wamalwa and the support of the restless youthful Luhyia opinion leaders in Nairobi who have been the force behind drive for Luhyia votes to count in Nairobi. If Peter Kenneth bucks wisdom and thinks any Luhyia will fit the bill, he and Jubilee Party will pay dearly at the ballot.
So, which New Ford Kenya Politician in Nairobi would deliver for Peter Kenneth as Deputy Governor? Given his choice for Senator in Mutinda Kavemba and Women Rep in Millie Omanga, it is only fitting that Peter Kenneth picks a youthful Luhyia politician to match these three and give the community hope that while this time it is not possible to have their own Governor for Nairobi, it may be possible soon.
The right and firebrand politician for the job is none other than Hon Fwamba Nc Fwamba. He is an increasingly important voice in Nairobi politics and one of the important forces behind the merger of NFK into Jubilee. Since Peter Kenneth is looking to win Luhyias in Nairobi, especially former NFK members to his side, Fwamba will sure deliver that as he will also avail the support of the now important Luhyia young professionals registered to vote in the city.
And Fwamba is seasoned hands in Nairobi politics. He was a Deputy Governor candidate in 2013 and thereafter unsuccessfully vied as Mathare MP. Fwamba is also a seasoned political organizer since his student days at University of Nairobi where he was a SONU Vice Chairman. Therefore, his activist streak and ability to rally the masses will compensate for Peter Kenneth’s simplicity and focus on details. There is no gainsaying that Team Kenneth and Fwamba can and will take Nairobi by storm.