, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Who should be governing, technocrats or politicians?
This is the question that has been on my mind since former Vivo Energy Chief Executive Polycarp Igathe was named the running mate of Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko for the Nairobi gubernatorial race.
So when we start the interview on the sidelines of the Kenya Association of Manufacturer’s Sundowner, I pose this question to Igathe.
“Politics is too important to be left to politicians,” he says explaining that it’s time for him to serve.
“I have gotten to the top in the corporate world. What else was there for me to do? I was just twiddling thumbs and swivelling on a chair, let me now go serve my country; I have always believed you learn, which I have learnt… you earn which I have earned, then you serve. Serving is a calling, I have come here as a shepherd,” he told Capital FM News Thursday evening.
He cautioned their competitors not to underestimate him and Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Mike Sonko.
He says he and Senator Sonko know what is ailing East Africa’s largest city and they intend to restore its position as a powerhouse.
The technocrat says his entry into politics is purely anchored on the need to give Nairobi City residents good services.
“To be honest, I have not come seeking for a job, I have come seeking responsibility… I have left a job for responsibility. I rose from a sales representative at the Coca-Cola Company driving a pick-up to being a Chief Executive of perhaps the largest company in Kenya in turnover terms,” he said.
He said he does not want a Cabinet Secretary’s position but wants to be elected by the people while expressing confidence that the “dynamic Jubilee duo” will win, come August 2017.
“Sonko has been my friend for long, we have been in talks, and I asked him to drive the agenda to a certain place and I will join him,” he revealed.
He said they are soon launching a campaign and their manifesto, while assuring that they “will not leave anyone behind.”
“On May 28th when the campaigns start we will launch our manifesto. However, I want to remember the words of my boss, His Excellency Mike Sonko. He told me, we should not leave anyone behind, I want to go and show you, the people who have been left behind. He took me to Eastleigh and many other places and I want to assure you we shall not disappoint,” he promised.
Other technocrats who have entered politics in the past election include current Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero, former Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua, former Education PS James ole Kiyiapi among others.
“I am concerned that the expectations are very high, so I have to meet them but I have worked in very many businesses and I have always exceeded expectations. I am sure I will exceed expectations with my new boss Mike Sonko,” he concluded.
Igathe officially resigned from Vivo Energy where he was the Managing Director to take on his new role as Sonko’s running mate.
Before joining Vivo Energy, Igathe was the regional managing director for East Africa at fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer Haco Tiger Brands.
He got his first job in Australia working for Queensland Health as finance officer.
After a year-and-a-half, Igathe came back to Kenya and got hired by Coca- Cola where he worked until 2000.
He then joined AfricaOnline as a sales and marketing manager before joining Kenya Breweries Limited as sales operations manager and then as marketing manager.