Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is among eight aspirants seeking to replace impeached Nairobi County boss Mike Sonko.
Waititu, who was impeached by the Senate early this year, joins Canada-based lawyer Miguna Miguna, a former aide of ODM leader Raila Odinga, among those who have tossed their hats in the ring for the by-election slated for February 18, next year.
“I am offering myself to serve the people of Nairobi on an independent ticket,” Waititu told The Standard yesterday. He confirmed he had presented his details to the electoral commission to be allowed to participate in the race.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had given political parties until yesterday to indicate if they were fielding a candidate in the mini poll.
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“Deadline Reminder: By-election for County Governor, Nairobi City County; Each political party intending to participate in the by-election shall submit the names of the persons contesting in a party primary and the date of the party primary on or before Monday, 28th December, 2020,” the IEBC tweeted.
The seat fell vacant after Sonko was impeached by MCAs and the Senate approved his removal two weeks ago.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and businesswoman Agnes Kagure had shown interest in the seat.
“We got two aspirants. We shall vet the names and have only a competent and able candidate that will help us retain the Nairobi seat that was Jubilee’s,” said Tuju.
After uncertainty over whether the party will field a candidate, ODM, which had given interested aspirants up to yesterday noon to hand in their papers, said they had received documents from Homa Bay politician Sammy Wakiaga and the party’s women league chairperson Beth Syongo.
National Election Board chairperson Catherine Muma said the party has not decided if it will participate in the party primaries.
“We will seek consensus between the two for one to drop out in favour of the other. It is in the event that none would be ready to back down that the party would go for a primary,” said Muma.
Apart from the Jubilee and ODM candidates, others who have declared interest in the seat include former assistant minister Margaret Wanjiru; Miguna Miguna, who plans to run on a Thirdway Alliance Party ticket; and Liberal Democratic Party founder member Dennis Kodhe.
Bishop Wanjiru yesterday told The Standard she will vie on a fringe party after failing to secure a Jubilee Party ticket.
Wanjiru had earlier said she was a ‘hustler nation’ candidate and allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
In putting forward her case, she said she was the candidate who best understood Nairobi and its challenges. “I have all it takes to represent city residents. I am their best bet for the governor seat,” said Wanjiru, who was Starehe MP between 2007 to 2013.
Former Town Clerk Philip Kisia said he had presented his papers to the Jubilee party and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s outfit to vet the aspirants before presenting them to residents for nominations.
Kisia said he had been ‘tried and tested’ and was fit to lead the people of Nairobi. He added that he had the “passion, experience and education to match the job”.
“I have been the city chief executive officer and delivered on the job. I oversaw the Nairobi regeneration when I chaired the Nairobi Central Business District Association. My performance speaks for itself.”
He urged his fellow aspirants to share their CVs with residents for evaluation and approval.
Miguna gave power of attorney to party chair Miruru Waweru to act on his behalf and process his nomination papers.
“Immediately the seat became vacant, we have been consulting and today (yesterday) we had a meeting with IEBC so they can give us the go-ahead to present papers. We are ready anytime for the nomination,” said Thirdway Alliance secretary general Fredrick Okango.