Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with Raila Odinga. Mr Sonko is under pressure to nominate a woman as Nairobi Deputy Governor. PHOTO/COURTESY
By HILLARY MAGEKA
The race to succeed former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe has intensified as interested candidates opt for lobbying for the coveted position.
So tense is the fight that the leading candidates have opted to employ all tricks including lobbying powerful politicians and using covert schemes to elbow their competitors.
The entry of former Kiambu Women Representative Annah Nyokabi Gathecha is causing jitters among the frontrunners as she is said to be enjoying the support of powerful politicians from both Jubilee and ODM parties that have majority members of the county Assembly in Nairobi.
The Nairobi Deputy Governor’s position has so far attracted six candidates who include President Uhuru Kenyatta personal assistant Jomo Gecaga, EALA MP Simon Mbugua, MPs Dennis Waweru and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Ms Nyokabi, City lawyer Karen Nyamu and insurer Agnes Kariuki.
However, the race has narrowed down to EALA MP Simon Mbugua and Ms Nyokabi who are using their connections in the corridors of power to outsmart one another.
A picture of Ms Nyokabi meeting ODM leader Raila Odinga surfaced on social media networks over the weekend before another picture of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko talking with Mr Odinga at the Muthaiga Gold Club where President Uhuru Kenyatta was present emerged. Another picture of Mr Odinga meeting Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria also surfaced.
Reports indicate that all these pictures are related to intense lobbying from Ms Nyokabi’s team which wants to ensure she gets the support of ODM and Jubilee MCAs if she is nominated to the position.
ODM leader Raila Odinga with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who is said to be backing Ms Nyokabi as Nairobi Deputy Governor. PHOTO/COURTESY
And today, two letters emerged, one purportedly written by Mr Mbugua indicating he has resigned as an EALA MP and another one allegedly written by Mr Sonko showing he had nominated him to the position of Nairobi Deputy Governor. The letters were declared as fake news by the Nairobi County.
Mbugua is a close confident of Governor Sonko and he is said to be running the show since the resignation of Polycarp Igathe while Ms Nyokabi, a first cousin of President Kenyatta, has kept a low profile since her defeat in the Jubilee party primaries.
Ms Nyokabi held a meeting with Jubilee Party stalwarts this weekend at her residence along Dennis Print road to strategize and persuade the leaders to back her in pursuit for the coveted seat.
Although the entry of Ms Nyokabi has been has been opposed by a section of the city residents labelling her an ‘outsider’, a group of women calling itself ‘Inua Viongozi wanawake’ has thrown its weight behind her candidature saying she has requisite academic qualifications hence competent for Deputy Governor’s position.
Addressing a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday, the team leader Hellen Nyakio said those who have expressed interest in the vacancy should not feel intimidated but should be challenged by Ms Nyokabi’s endorsement.
“We are in full support of Ms Nyokabi to join the race for Nairobi Deputy Governor. Her candidature is positive to Jubilee party as she will consolidate the women voting block ahead of 2022 polls,” Ms Nyakio said.
A fortnight ago, a group calling itself Nairobi Women Caucus appealed to Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko, to consider nominating a woman to deputise him, after the seat fell vacant following the resignation of Mr Igathe.
ODM leader Raila Odinga with former Kiambu Women Representative Annah Nyokabi . PHOTO/COURTESY
The group chair, Ms Dinah Agai, said appointing a woman deputy governor, would be the fitting reward for the women who, besides being the majority voters, have relevant qualifications to hold such high office.
“We are aware that our well able governor, has a history of working with women in his quest to develop Nairobi and that is why we appeal to him to seriously think about appointing a woman as his deputy,” Ms Agai said.
Impeccable source have indicated that Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is likely to settle on Ms Nyokabi as his Deputy Governor to appease the women voting block that backed him in the last elections.
Ms Nyokabi has a bachelor of arts, Political Science, York University –Toronto Canada and a post graduate Diploma in International Business management, Seneca College, Canada.
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