Kenya prepares for local authority polls

June 29, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – Campaigns have reached fever pitch as local authorities countrywide prepare for mayoral elections that kick off this week.

Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa who is seeking a second term in office was exuding confidence on Monday, saying his track record would endear him to his fellow councillors.

“I have a number of issues that I have been addressing in the City and I have never heard anybody addressing the same issues. The contestants need to focus on addressing them because they are for the benefit of the residents of Nairobi,” he said and added: “In politics you do not reveal who you will support. The person with the majority normally gets the vote.”

Mr Majiwa further said he would not be derailed from his duties by the current campaigns.

“I am still on the Mayor’s seat,’ he told Capital News.

The Nairobi mayoral seat has attracted five candidates.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leads the pack with four contestants lined up to battle it out with Party of National Unity (PNU) candidate John Chege (Deputy Mayor).

ODM candidates are William Kinyanyi, George Aladwa, Tim Wanyonyi, and incumbent Geoffrey Majiwa who is accused of running the council unilaterally.

But Mr Majiwa said that some officers had refused to accept change, adding that many were still unsettled following the departure of immediate former Town Clerk John Gakuo.

ODM is confident of retaining the seat as it has 53 of the 98 councillors against PNU’s 45.

Last year’s Mayoral elections had to be called off when ODM accused PNU of foul play.

They later agreed to sharing responsibilities with Mr Majiwa taking the top seat and deputised by PNU’s Chege. Council committees were also shared.

Nairobi lived up to its ignominious reputation when city councillors held a largely chaotic mayoral poll whose disputed results were referred to the Local Government Minister for further direction.

Besides Nairobi, there was another stand-off in Nakuru where civic leaders engaged in brawls, forcing a postponement of the elections.

The Nairobi elections were characterised by heckling between PNU and ODM civic leaders and spiced with accusations of betrayal and corruption.


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