Confusion over Nairobi poll as Ruto endorses Wanjiru

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto consults former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, during a church service at House of Hope Kayole, Embakasi Central on Sunday. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Deputy President William Ruto has thrown his weight behind United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party candidate Margaret Wanjiru even as uncertainty looms on whether Nairobi will hold polls to elect a new governor. 

While the Nairobi County Assembly appears keen to forestall the February 18 by-election by vetting and approving the appointment of deputy governor nominee Ann Kananu for elevation to governor, the Tanga Tanga group is raring for a duel with the ‘Handshake’ team.

The seat fell vacant after the impeachment of Mike Sonko on December 17 for gross misconduct. 

Sonko had nominated Kananu to fill the deputy governorship but her nomination was blocked due to a court petition.  However, the former governor at the weekend claimed that he had with withdrawn Kananu’s nomination, a position disputed by the assembly leadership.

Speaking to People Daily Majority Whip Paul Kiguathi Kados maintained that Ward Reps will vet Kananu on Friday as planned. 

“The name of Kananu is the property of County Assembly and there is no way an impeached governor can withdraw her name,” said Kados. The County Assembly has set Friday this week to have Kananu vetted by the Appointments Committee which will write a report and table it before the assembly for the MCAs to either reject or approve her appointment.

And speaking yesterday in Nairobi, the assembly’s Deputy Speaker Geoffrey Majiwa also maintained that they will proceed with Kananu’s vetting and dismissed Wanjiru’s endorsement.

“We will not listen to any pedestrian talk. As an assembly, we follow rules and standing orders and so we will not follow whatever Ruto said on Sunday. We are on course to vet Kananu,” he said.

Majiwa who is the Baba Dogo Ward Representative also dismissed Sonko saying his declaration that he will withdraw Kananu’s appointment does not hold any water as he is already impeached.

“We will go ahead and vet Kananu. Any communication from somebody we impeached should be ignored,” maintained Majiwa.

Also present during the press conference was Nairobi West MCA Moses Gari, David Ouma (Huruma ward), Nicholas Okumu (Lower Savannah) and Clarence Munga (Mugumoini).

It is widely expected that once appointed, Kananu will quickly be elevated to governor - effectively preventing what could be a grueling battle for the city seat. 

Former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru had expressed interest in the post but seems to have lately gone quite nor has he held any significant campaign events. 

Sonko has declared he will withdraw a petition that saw the High Court temporarily stop the election slated for February 18.

Speaking in Makueni during the burial of James Ngui Ndambuki, uncle of Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr in Makueni County, Sonko warned against political machinations aimed at circumventing the by-election.

 “It is a must for Nairobi residents to get the governor they want. Not to bring in someone who was not elected which is not lawful. They need to go for a by-election and elect the person whom they love through the ballot,” he added

Ruto on Sunday declared Wanjiru as the best person to lead Nairobi saying she understands the struggles of the hustlers.

“Bishop Wanjiru is the candidate for hustlers. She is well conversant with what residents of Nairobi want. As hustlers we are fully behind her,” he said. 

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