Jubilee plans joint Kenneth-Sonko ticket for city governor’s race

Peter Kenneth

Jubilee Party (JP) strategists are working on a joint ticket between Nairobi governor aspirant candidate Peter Kenneth and Senator Mike Sonko, The Standard on Sunday can report.

The President’s party believes that should the plan work, it will floor Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in the August 8 contest.

The plan is centred around a 50-50 power sharing agreement proposal between Kenneth and Sonko, a copy of which is to be deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

“We think it’s a lot more logical to unite the two candidates against Kidero than to keep fighting among ourselves. The idea is to get them agree on a power-sharing agreement on a 50-50 basis. Whoever is the governor candidate then should also agree to reimburse part of the costs incurred by the other in the campaigns before signing of the agreement,” said a source within Jubilee.

Shortly after the party initially rejected his papers, Sonko is reported to have met President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi later that evening.

Sonko’s papers would later be accepted at the JP headquarters on Thursday without much drama.

Party insiders say during the meeting, the President insisted on the need to form one united force to face-off with Dr Kidero.

President Kenyatta reportedly said Sonko and Kenneth’s teams must deliver a conclusive unity pact that Jubilee will front in Nairobi.

“The President was particularly clear on the need for our governor candidates to unite. What we want is to make sure Kenneth and Sonko are on one ticket in which one is the governor candidate and the other his running mate, but with a clear power sharing agreement,” said a source.

Key players within the party’s high circles are however keen on Kenneth’s candidacy and are working round the clock to enlist Sonko’s support and subsequent concurrence to a running mate’s position.

Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja has since dropped his bid for governor and now wants to vie for Senate, while former MP Margaret Wanjiru and Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru are still in the race with Sonko and Kenneth.

Highly placed sources within JP said Wanjiru is being warmly considered for inclusion in the September Cabinet should JP win the Presidency.

The move to push for a joint ticket between Sonko and Kenneth now jolts other aspirants jostling to be Kenneth’s running mate in the highly competitive polls.

They include Linnet Mirehane, a former Kilimani Ward Councillor and civil society activist, who has been seen in Kenneth’s meetings.

Mirehane, who vied for Dagoretti North parliamentary seat on URP ticket in 2013 and narrowly lost to ODM candidate Simba Arati, is a non-executive director of the National Bank of Kenya.

Three weeks ago at the ACK Church in Pumwani, Kenneth introduced Ms Mirehane, saying he had identified her as a possible running mate. He  said Mirehane was fit to serve in the position, but he was yet to make a final decision.

Another person who has expressed interest to be Kenneth’s running mate is city politician Peter Mutuku Mutua.