Nelson Havi: Tim Wanyonyi's return to Westlands doesn't scare me

Tim Wanyonyi has served as Westlands MP for ten years, starting 2013. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi on Thursday, April 28, confirmed that he will seek to defend his seat on Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party ticket.

Initially, Wanyonyi had expressed interest in the Nairobi Governor’s race, but dropped his bid after ODM, Jubilee and Wiper, which are affiliate parties in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, agreed to front Polycarp Igathe and Philip Kaloki as the gubernatorial pair in the August 9 polls.

Wanyonyi, who has served as Westlands MP since 2013, consequently resorted to defend his seat.

Former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Nelson Havi is seeking to wrest the parliamentary seat from Wanyonyi. Havi will run on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party ticket.

With Wanyonyi’s absence from the race initially, observers argued that Havi stood a better chance of posting good vote numbers in the parliamentary election.

However, with the return of Wanyonyi to Westlands, observers say, Havi faces stiff competition from the incumbent.

“When I announced my candidature for Westlands MP in May 2021, I had in mind that I would face off against Tim Wanyonyi,” Havi told The Standard on Thursday, April 28.

“His return to Westlands doesn’t adjust, in any way, how I look at the race,” he said, adding: “As an incumbent, he has an upper hand, but that doesn’t take away anything from my candidature. I am committed to serving the people of Westlands as their MP.”

Announcing his return to Westlands parliamentary race on Thursday, Wanyonyi said he was confident to secure a third term as area MP.

Nelson Havi says ten years has been enough for Wanyonyi to show what his leadership is made of.

“What will he do in the next five years that he has not done in the last ten years?” posed Havi.

The former LSK president said top of his agenda will be to address the water scarcity in Westlands that has been wrought by rationing as a result of the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

He is also seeking to look into the welfare of slum-dwellers and those who lost their residential properties as Waiyaki Way was being cleared to allow for the construction of the Expressway.

“Some of the constituents aren’t sure of owning homes or stalls anymore in Westlands. Wanyonyi had the last ten years to fight for them, but he failed on that front,” said Havi.

The lawyer said he is optimistic that he will trounce the incumbent MP in the August 9 General Election.

In 2017, One hundred and fifty-two thousand, seven hundred-and-eighteen (152,718) people registered to vote in Westlands Constituency.