What you need to know:
- ‘Handshake’ team considering a single candidate to fly coalition’s flag.
- Proposal to agree on single candidate has split the camp down the middle.
A plan by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Jubilee Party to use consensus to pick the coalition’s candidate for the Nairobi gubernatorial elections next year has kicked up a storm within the “Handshake” camp.
According to sources, President Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga are considering agreeing on one candidate to fly the coalition’s flag come 2022.
Mr Odinga’s wife, Ida, lent credence to the rumours when she voiced her support for a proposal by some ODM party officials to resort to backroom deals to choose candidates for various seats, with aspirants who miss out guaranteed of plum positions in the Odinga administration.
ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna is also on record as saying the parties will pick a joint candidate.
Candidates eyeing the Jubilee-ODM ticket are Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, MPs George Aladwa (Makadara) and Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, and businesswoman Agnes Kagure.
The winner will face off with candidates from other parties, including United Democratic Alliance’s (UDA) Bishop Margaret Wanjiru. Mr Sakaja faulted the plans, saying, voters will not accept a “boardroom” candidate. “They should not impose [a candidate] on us,” he said.
“In 2017, a candidate [who] was imposed [on voters] in Nairobi ended up getting 5,000 votes. This is not 2007. Voters are nowadays online and sophisticated.
“They’re intelligent enough to know the kind of leaders they want,” Mr Sakaja said.
Mr Wanyonyi said: “I support delegates electing their preferred candidate in a free and fair exercise,” while Mr Aladwa and Ms Kagure welcomed the idea of a consensus candidate, saying, leadership cannot be reduced to personality contests.
“President Kenyatta and [Mr Odinga] hold sway in Nairobi. I will do whatever they will decide even if I am not chosen,” Mr Aladwa said, adding, he was best-suited to be governor given his past as Nairobi mayor and as an MP.