NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – The bid by Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to contest the Nairobi gubernatorial seat is gathering momentum, as more politicians threw their weight behind him.
At least 18 lawmakers from Western Kenya met Wamalwa at his Nairobi home Tuesday night and said they were fully backing the bid.
Alongside the MPs were 65 Members of the Nairobi County Assembly mainly from the Jubilee Alliance, who said they wanted Wamalwa to be the ruling coalition’s flag bearer.
“‘The MPs have thrown their weight behind Wamalwa’s bid and said it will now make it easier to sell Jubilee in Western Kenya,” a source who attended Tuesday night’s meeting said.
The MPs later held a meeting at Harambee House on Wednesday with government officials ahead of a visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to Western, where they indicated they were behind Wamalwa’s Nairobi bid.
At the Harambee House meeting were Governors Ken Lusaka and Moses Akaranga who said they also wanted Wamalwa to vie in Nairobi.
“It’s believed that his candidacy would play on the tribal numbers in Nairobi and give him a strong chance against Evans Kidero,” a source privy to the strategy said.
“What matters is his choice of running mate,” he added.
Calls for Wamalwa to vie for the seat began at the weekend when Central Kenya MPs Ferdinand Waititu, Jude Jomo, Kanini Keega and Mpuri Aburi said they wanted Wamalwa to be the Jubilee flag bearer in Nairobi.
A day later, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and former Westlands MP Fred Gumo said they welcomed Wamalwa’s bid for the gubernatorial seat.
The bid has however divided the political class, with some leader saying they would reject what appeared a deliberate bid to force a candidate on the electorate.