Nelson Havi: Raila is a perfect leader

Nelson Havi

Former LSK president Nelson Havi.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Nairobi lawyer Nelson Havi has said that Azimio coalition’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua are perfect leaders who have done tremendous work in the past, in what may be perceived as an endorsement of the two for the top position in the August 9 election, but to others, is an attempt to win the support of a majority of Azimio voters in Westlands Constituency.

Mr Havi, who is vying for the Westlands parliamentary seat under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party, said he has no issues with the two leaders, adding that there was need for Kenyans to learn to separate personalities from issues in this election.

“I will be very honest with you, there is nothing wrong with Raila Amolo Odinga, he is a perfect leader. Look, William Samoei Ruto and I are his pupils, he has done a tremendous job and the earlier we realise and acknowledge what people have done, the better we are placed to isolate personalities when we are considering issues. Martha is a very good friend of mine, she is a distinguished lawyer, and has done a tremendous job in the legal profession, much as Raila has done,” Mr Havi said on NTV’s With All Due Respect show on Tuesday night.

Mr Havi was responding to a question on what about Mr Odinga fails to sit right with the UDA-Kenya Kwanza coalition members that they get to criticise everything about him.

The lawyer has in the recent past defended his decision to join the UDA party, but has been making public pronouncements that have triggered a debate on whether his allegiance is shifting.

On Sunday, he confessed to having unsuccessfully attempted to reach out to Mr Odinga a week before joining UDA, adding that he belongs to the Maragoli sub-tribe which he alleged to be constituting 60 percent of the 46,947 Luhya voters in Westlands and brought up voters' concerns about his support for UDA candidates whose integrity has been questioned.

He, however, maintains that there’s a problem when one’s views are judged by the personalities that they are supporting.

“When you start pointing fingers at individuals for us to view your view point as sellable, therein lies the problem. Martha and Raila have played a pivotal role in the liberation, we do not require any more liberations or reforms,” he said.

He said the challenge that Kenyans now have is on deciding who between the two camps wants to improve the social economic well-being of this country and who wants to restructure the power set up by amending the Constitution to distribute power amongst themselves.

“These are the questions that Kenyans must deal with. What we need to discuss right now is what issues are on the table viewed, from the voter’s perspective,” he said.

Plans by both coalitions to amend the Constitution have been declared in the open, with Azimio promising to pursue the Building Bridges Initiative after the August polls and in the event that it wins the election.

“We must change the Constitution in future under the popular initiative. The process will definitely start afresh. It will be more physical after the election in the next 100 days when I am an officer. We are now focusing on the election,” Jubilee Party’s Director of Elections Kanini Kega said after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 was unconstitutional.

For their part, the UDA-Kenya Kwanza coalition agreement with Amani National Congress and Ford-Kenya Party proposes the creation of a prime cabinet secretary within 30 days of the election through parliamentary legislation.

“The legislation so introduced shall amend the National Government Coordination Act of 2013 to include the office of the prime cabinet secretary and incorporate and align the functions of the office as proposed herein to the existing structures under the aforesaid Act,” the agreement notes.

Mr Havi is up against incumbent Tim Wanyonyi who made a late comeback to the seat after dropping his Nairobi gubernatorial ambitions in favour of Jubilee’s Polycarp Igathe who has been endorsed by the Azimio coalition as its candidate.

By being in a predominantly ODM stronghold with a majority Luhya vote, Mr Havi could be cleverly appealing to this base by choosing not to come off as not too critical of the Azimio presidential aspirant and his running mate.


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