Those were the words of Azimio leader, Raila Odinga regarding the candidates Azimio has picked for the various seats to be contested in Nairobi County on August 9, 2022.
Today I read a weird statement from Moses Wetangula from the UDA group promising Raila that God will punish him very badly for not choosing Tim Wanyonyi for the governor’s position. I know the UDA chaps have direct phone lines with a few gods, but I am not sure if the gods want to be involved in Kenya politics particularly if their job will be to punish people. But then again, it is their god, so maybe god takes instructions from them.
The real issue here is that Azimio team has done a very good job in their choices in Nairobi county. Yes, Tim Wanyonyi is a very high-quality candidate and had all the chances to clinch the governor’s job in the capital.
There are other practical issues Azimio had to deal with and luckily for them, Tim Wanyonyi proved to be a very savvy politician thinking about the bigger picture and not just himself as most politicians do.
In Azimio Coalition, ODM has the opportunity for the presidency.
It would have been very selfish and counterproductive for Azimio to hand over the Nairobi Governor job to ODM as well. That would amount to walking over other partners in the coalition. Maybe Ruto can do that in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance where he is the supreme king but that stuff cannot work in Azimio.
The two most powerful political jobs in Kenya are the presidency and the governor of our capital city. Forget the DP who sits at Karen office and receives personal delegates for five years. Hopefully, the next DP will be more productive and work for the country, not for their next job which they assume must be the presidency.
But Azimio would have been super stupid to give ODM both jobs and they had to make decisions and decided to do so by consensus and it worked. Now they have to take it to the ground and get the voters of Nairobi.
It is also very telling that Azimio decided to give the deputy governor job in Nairobi to Wiper candidate Prof Philip Kaloki instead of just Uhuru and Raila making the shots.
In fact, ODM took a back seat in Nairobi but Tim Wanyonyi is still running for the M.P of Westlands – so he can send Nelson Havi to be a full-time lawyer for Ruto after he loses the elections.
Edwin Sifuna is going for the senator’s job and Esther Passaris is running to keep her job as the Women’s Representative.
Nairobi City County has almost 2 million votes. In 2017 Nairobi produced 1.6 million votes where 900,000 went to Sonko and Kidero got 700,000. That could very well be something like 60% of the total registered voters in Nairobi.
If Azimio Coalition makes the right moves in the city, they are looking at a possible upwards of 1 million votes. That can be a complete game-changer.
The Nairobi vote has its own tribal inclinations which have to be taken seriously by the political parties contesting there.
If you add the Kikuyu vote in Nairobi with the Luhya vote plus the Luo vote and the Kamba vote and bring in the big Somali vote and voices in Nairobi, you are looking at a supermajority of Nairobi votes for Azimio. That is the math that is going on and even Wetangula’s gods know that. Politics cannot just involve talking. It must involve some serious thinking as well.
The other big news for Azimio in Nairobi is that their big guns like Uhuru, Raila and Kalonzo actually have big followings in Nairobi City. UDA is always telling us how Uhuru will have no influence on Mt. Kenya votes. That is their fantasy and they are entitled to it.
But Uhuru is actually a beloved person in Nairobi and when they go out there with Raila to talk to Nairobi voters to put Azimio in those two key offices (of the presidency and Nairobi governor), it could be an avalanche that could sweep UDA just out of the picture.
The great achievement for Azimio here is that they were able to put this very formidable team together without fuss and infighting that never solves any problem. They are now ready to go.
Good for them and good for the residents of our capital city and for the country.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada