Cosmopolitan Nairobi, Kenya’s administrative and commercial capital, remains one of the most multi-racial and multi-cultural cities in Africa. Facts on the ground, particularly in the political arena, reveal a scary prospect.
For instance, going by the published nominations line-up of parliamentary and civic aspirants in Nairobi, it seems the city remains the exclusive domain of a select group of leaders. It is a pity because the NARC wave of 2002 was wrongly presumed to have slayed Kenya’s infamous ethnicity dragon.
A casual look at the line-ups of the leading political parties in this year’s general election who have already completed their nominations leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those who have been fighting for equality and balance in the Kenyan society beginning with Nairobi.
PNU Nairobi Parliamentary Aspirants
Dick Wathika - Makadara - (Kikuyu)
Simon Mbugua – Kamukunji - (Kikuyu)
Beth Mugo – Dagoretti - (Kikuyu)
Maina Kamanda – Starehe - (Kikuyu)
Lee Kamau – Kasarani - (Kikuyu)
Betty Njeri Tett – Westlands - (Kikuyu)
John Ndirangu - Embakassi - (Kikuyu)
Stanley Livondo – Langata - (Luhya?)
It does not end there. In addition to the above, other PNU ‘affiliate’ parties, especially the Democratic Party (DP) whose Chairman is Mwai Kibaki, is fielding candidates in all Nairobi constituencies. A classic fall-back plan if you ask me, but what is the common thread?
DP Nairobi Parliamentary Aspirants
Paul Mugeke - Makadara - (Kikuyu)
Duncan Mwangi – Kamukunji - (Kikuyu)
Francis Ngokonyo – Dagoretti - (Kikuyu)
Jimna Mbaru – Starehe - (Kikuyu)
Adolf Muchiri – Kasarani - (Kikuyu)
Rebecca Mwicigi – Westlands - (Kikuyu)
Ferdinand Waititu - Embakasi - (Kikuyu)
Langata – No DP candidate but two candidates Ndura Waruinge (Kikuyu) on UDP and Nduta Mageri (Kikuyu) on KENDA are both supporting PNU and President Kibaki’s second term.
All angles, it seems, are well covered by President Kibaki’s tribal cronies.
In contrast, the ODM line-up is a refreshing mix of age, experience, gender, culture and religion.
ODM Nairobi Parliamentary Aspirants
Reuben Ndolo - Makadara - (Luo)
Fred Gumo - Westlands - (Luhya)
John Kiarie - Dagoretti - (Kikuyu)
Raila Odinga - Langata - (Luo)
Margaret Wanjiru - Starehe - (Kikuyu)
Mugabe Were - Embakasi -(Luhya)
Elizabeth Ogolla - Kasarani - (Luo)
Yusuf Ibrahim - Kamukunji - (Somali)
My opinion is that the ruling party and its affiliate parties- in this case the PNU, DP and others - are not helping matters here. Political parties must put in place systems that will ensure one group does not dominate minorities in terms of gender and other social backgrounds.
- Is it a mere democratic coincidence that PNU boast of only one out of eight non-GEMA candidate in Nairobi? Or to ask in a different way, is Stanley Livondo keeping the right political company or is he just a pawn in a well rehearsed game?
- Is it another act-of-god that all of DP’s candidates in the city share a common heritage?
- Why is there a large pool of semi illiterate ex-civic leaders running on PNU ticket bearing in mind that City Hall is a well known den of corruption and nepotism?
Ladies and gentlemen, this is only but a sober assessment of the parliamentary race in the capital city. The list of civic seat aspirants makes worse reading due to the false sense of dominance by some political parties and I shall not dare publish it here.