The Handshake team led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM supremo Raila Odinga will pick a joint candidate for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in 2022, a move already causing jitters in Jubilee and ODM parties, with some members rejecting ‘boardroom’ selection on who will become the city’s governor.
Already, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, MPs George Aladwa (Makadara) and Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, and businesswoman Agnes Kagure are eyeing the joint ODM-Jubilee ticket to face UDA’s Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.
The move by the two parties to settle on a single candidate has received varied reactions from a number of top aspirants for the seat, with some saying it was not a wise decision from President Uhuru and Mr. Odinga.
“In 2017, a candidate [who] was imposed [on voters] in Nairobi ended up getting 5,000 votes. This is not 2007. Voters are nowadays online and sophisticated. They’re intelligent enough to know the kind of leaders they want,” Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said.
On his part, Westlands MP Timothy Wanyonyi has expressed support for delegates electing their preferred candidate of choice to fly the Handshake team’s flag in the city.
“I support delegates electing their preferred candidate in a free and fair exercise,” he said.
On the other hand, Makadara MP George Aladwa and acting Nairobi governor Agnes Kagure have welcomed the idea of a joint candidate settled on by Raila and Uhuru, saying, leadership cannot be reduced to personality contests.
“President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga hold sway in Nairobi. I will do whatever they will decide even if I am not chosen,” Mr. Aladwa said.