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Peter Kenneth set to get Jubilee ticket as rivals lured with new posts to quit

NAIROBI
By Mwaniki Munuhe | January 22nd 2017
Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth. (Photo: Moses Omusula/Standard)

Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth could ultimately be the compromise candidate for Jubilee Party (JP) in Nairobi gubernatorial contest.

Credible sources at the heart of the discussions said a formula to accommodate all contestants who had declared interest in the governorship is in place but is yet to be agreed upon by the candidates.

The deal contained in a three page document seen by The Standard on Sunday could force nominated MP Johnson Sakaja to drop his political ambitions and retreat to Jubilee Party secretariat as campaign manager.

“We are confident we will get it correct in our negotiations and ensure we accommodate everybody. All indications however are that Kenneth will be our flag bearer in Nairobi,” said our source.

Mr Sakaja who chaired the defunct The National Alliance (TNA) that propelled President Kenyatta into power will work alongside Raphael Tuju in managing President Kenyatta’s re-election campaign.

The players in Jubilee are confident about his campaign managerial skills.

Former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru who has also declared interest to unseat Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero is slated for appointment to the Cabinet.

Similarly, there are plans by the Jubilee leadership to urge Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko to either defend his senatorial seat or craft an arrangement with Kenneth where Sonko will be the running mate.

Sakaja said even though he is keen on his Nairobi gubernatorial campaigns, re-election of President Kenyatta is a matter of ‘definite priority’ to him. He added that he was not aware of Jubilee plans about the Nairobi race.

“I am not aware of such a discussion because I am keen on my campaigns for Nairobi. But undoubtedly for me, re-election of the President is a matter of definite priority,” said Sakaja.

Interestingly, Dagoretti South MP Denis Waweru who has also declared interest for Nairobi governorship is not listed anywhere in the said document. Waweru has been in the gubernatorial campaign for more than two years, holding regular meetings with city opinion leaders and elders from different communities in Nairobi. His is said to have lost favour with the party leadership.

Similarly, the position of Nairobi Women Representative has also been left open. Rachel Shebesh is the current Women Representative for Nairobi. Other candidates who have declared interest for the seat are Wangui Ng’ang’a, Millicent Omanga, Karen Nyamu and Janet Muthoni Ouko.

Skipped event

A fortnight ago, Deputy President William Ruto hosted aspirants for various elective positions in Nairobi and urged them to come up with one gubernatorial candidate to battle it out with Dr Kidero.

Kenneth’s declaration to vie for governorship attracted the ire of Jubilee aspirants who have since united to oppose him. Nairobi Senator, MPs Sakaja, Waweru and Bishop Wanjiru opposed Kenneth’s candidature, describing him as an ‘outsider’.

During the launch of Jubilee smart card for members recruitment drive that was skipped by Kenneth, Sonko issued a thinly veiled attack on the former Gatanga MP, before hundreds of Jubilee aspirants that converged at Kasarani Stadium.

“As political leaders from the county we demand that we should be respected. In Nairobi, we do not want infighting. We do not want outsiders to be imposed on the city residents,” he said.

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