Wherever he is, Evans Kidero is a happy man. I bet he finds himself smiling for no apparent reason. If you greet him he might probably burst into a hearty guffaw.
And why not? In his position I would do exactly the same watching Jubilee gubernatorial candidates behave in a manner likely to ensure his re-election and a CORD victory in Nairobi.
Wherever he is, Uhuru Kenyatta must be wondering about the quality of his party’s Nairobi leadership. After going to great length and pains together with his Deputy William Ruto to build a political house founded on unity and togetherness he cannot enjoy watching the capital’s leadership make a mockery of the party’s vision and ethos.
Wherever they are Johnson Sakaja, Dennis Waweru and Mike Sonko must be quaking in their boots. It is the only human explanation for their comical perambulations this week over the possible entry of Peter Kenneth into the Nairobi gubernatorial race.
The million dollar question is why would they try and block anyone from joining the race for Governor? I am sure if I announce today they would let me run so what is it that Peter Kenneth has that they think is so bad for the voters of Nairobi?
I have a few theories.
The first and most obvious is that Kenneth shatters if not obliterates the average bar they have set for the Governorship of Nairobi. He comes with a profile and track record that none of them can match. Kenneth actually has a brand-built on delivery and performance and you can understand why this threesome would find that threatening.
However by forming this coalition of convenience to try and block Kenneth from the gubernatorial chase Sakaja, Sonko and Waweru reinforce their own vulnerabilities and shortcomings and dramatise Kenneth’s suitability for Nairobi Governor. Their behaviour says plenty about their leadership capacity and not in a good, constructive way. Their actions speak to a remarkable level of pettiness, selfishness and lack of substance.
The name Peter Kenneth is synonymous with issue-based politics. And guess what Nairobi has in plenty -issues! Water, congestion, corruption, unemployment, housing, cleanliness, traffic-the list is remarkably lengthy. You can fault Kenneth for his looks and for aspiring to serve as President but you cannot fault his Starehean commitment to doing the best job possible.
The smart thing to do would have been to prepare to take on Kenneth; to show no fear; and take the time and effort to work on their own profiles and brands. To bring their own smarts and substance into the game is what each of these aspirants should have done.
The second theory is that Kenneth adds to Jubilee’s chances of taking Nairobi from CORD. Nairobi County is the capital more than they do. In the league of counties in this country it is peerless. It is the home of all tribes and the seat of not only power but of our economic might with 40pc of the GDP. This is what Jubilee lost in 2013-this is what Jubilee do not want to lose again. Losing Nairobi once is bad luck; twice is incompetence.
You can add up the ethnic math however you like but the truth is in 2013 the voters of Nairobi county showed that they want a leader who will get things done regardless of his tribe. In this county merit matters; in this county a track record matters.
The truth is Waweru offers no more than Waititu did; Sonko too and while Sakaja has more polish than his compadres- you cannot pin any definitive quality on him that you can bank the future of the capital city on.
Kenneth takes the leadership vote hands down. Remember that in 2013 that is the vote that Waititu could not get. They may not shout it from the rooftops but there are Kikuyus that chose Kidero over Waititu. And others who chose Jimnah knowing full well they were voting against Waititu. Their reasoning was and still is- this is the capital and leadership matters.
Nairobi is the first port of call for hundreds of millions of dollars in investment every year; it is the financial, commercial and innovation hub of East Africa. It is also a city with a vast potential that remains unfulfilled; a place of many unrealized dreams and missed opportunities particularly among young people.
If Peter Kenneth can help change that and his track record says he can; Sonko, Sakaja and Waweru should not lie to the voters of this great city that the President has anointed one of them. If they can let them beat him at the nomination but to suggest that only one of them can be the Jubilee Candidate is to misrepresent the President who if I am not mistaken has made it extremely clear that he wants the people to decide.
Until the people say otherwise – Tuko Pamoja includes Peter Kenneth.