ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna is staring at a bleak future as the Azimio-One Kenya Alliance coalition complicates Nairobi politics.
Sifuna recently shocked Nairobi residents with massive billboards across the city, around the same time businessman Richard Ngatia was also taking prime advertising spaces.
It became clear the two were coordinating and had formed a silent pact to run in Nairobi as a Senator-Governor pair.
In the pairing, Sifuna was to contest the Senate on an ODM ticket while Ngatia was to be the Jubilee ticket holder for the governor position. With this arrangement, none of the two parties would produce double tickets. That is, where ODM fields for senate, Jubilee would not, and only field for governor, which, reciprocally, ODM would cede.
Now, while this arrangement is still in the cards, other entrants in the race are complicating the equation for both Sifuna and Ngatia.
Within ODM, Sifuna is not the most competitive either. What he has is a title as ODM Secretary-General. Without a base of his own, he depends entirely on the ODM Party machinery for the seat.
If for instance, the senate position is to be traded between Sifuna and Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, of course, Sifuna would be out-maneuvered. For several reasons.
Unlike Ngatia, who has billions to splash, Sifuna is a pauper. He is the first ODM Party Secretary-General to be put on full salary. From multiple sources, speaking with authority, Sifuna earns a little over half a million shillings monthly from ODM, a tidy pay for someone who was merely managing a struggling law firm.
ODM also acquired a top range 4500cc fuel guzzler, pays a driver and a security guard for their Sec Gen. Add to the medical insurance for him and his family, Sifuna has spent the last four years in relative comfort, brushing shoulders with the who-is-who of Kenya’s politics as an executive of the orange party.
When negotiations proper for Nairobi begins, of course, Sifuna will be a nobody in the larger scheme of things. He comes to the table as an apparatchik of the Orange party, with the leverage of a salaried employee.
Ngatia, on the other hand, may be wiped out by Jubilee’s interests.
This city has godfathers.