No worthy gubernatorial option for rational Nairobi voter

Dr Evans Kidero being sworn-in as Nairobi County Governor at Uhuru Park in the Kenyan capital on March 27, 2013. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

It is that time in our political cycle yet again, when hordes of Kenyans who believe they have what it takes offer themselves for various elective positions.

So many are they and their claimed credentials that were corruption and tribalism not the principle determinants of electoral decisions, many Kenyan voters would be literally lost, not knowing which way to cast their ballot.

Nowhere is this challenge more daunting for an average rational voter (sadly, the minority) than in the race for Nairobi gubernatorial seat.

So far, all indications point at a three-horse race pitting the incumbent Evans Kidero against Nairobi Senator Gidion Kioko Mbuvi, aka Mike Sonko and failed 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, or PK to his adoring supporters.

Swing a surprise

Perhaps, voluble and cantankerous Miguna Miguna could swing a surprise. But that is a story for another day.

For the majority of Nairobians, whose voting is determined by tribe and/or who bribes the most, the choice could not have been any easier.

A peep at the leading contenders:

Every alley

First, Evans Kidero. In him, Nairobians have a candidate whose reign could as well be a lesson on how not to run a city in the 21st century.

From the time he took office, Kidero has spectacularly failed to make a statement that there was a new sheriff in town. He has had no impact whatsoever in restoring order in the once green city in the sun.

From mounds of garbage at every street corner, a medley of hawkers at every alley and in front of every shop, and unplanned development sprouting up everywhere, total disregard of the traffic code on the roads, to city residents behaving like they were in a race for the most Neanderthal conduct crown and much, Kidero has left Nairobi worse than he found it.

A traffic jam on University Way in Nairobi on March 3, 2017. Nairobi has been ranked the second-worst city in the world when it comes to traffic congestion. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Then comes Peter Kenneth. Here, Nairobians have a candidate fronted by what would pass for a cabal of ethnic supremacists and conspirators to whom Kenya’s capital is too important to be left in the hands of the “wrong” tribe.

Of course, PK tries to market himself  - unconvincingly so - as the suave urbane technocrat with the manual for fixing Nairobi’s myriad problems.

Many believe his bid is a mere stop gap measure in a wider scheme to perpetuate an ethnic hegemony, not only at the county, but also national level.

The perception

PK supporters harp on his purported exemplary performance as the MP for his native Gatanga, which only reinforces the perception that he believes in the tribe more than the nation.

His voting trends on critical matters before the House left no doubt about where he stands when confronted with the choice between the nation and the tribe.

There is also the small matter of how he secured himself the choicest government jobs without the requisite academic qualifications, though today he is a proud holder of two university degrees.

Readily available

To Mike Sonko. Sonko distinguishes himself by his reckless and uncultured demeanour. His academic credentials have been the subject of much debate as has been his record before the law.

Sonko does not seem to believe in a permanent solution to problem, but will always be readily available to firefight anywhere and everywhere.

He is fabulously rich, but the source of his wealth remains a matter of conjecture.

If you are a rational voter in Nairobi, my friend, I am sorry: You do not have a worthy candidate among the leading three!


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