Is it the curse of Embakasi that it will always be led by a thug and that when a non-thug is somehow elected they will always be quickly cut down to size?
This was the feeling amongst many Embakasi constituents who voted for Esther Passaris as news came in this morning of Ferdinand Waitutu's stunning victory in yesterday's by-election.
Just last week it looked like the constituency was going to get not only it's prettiest parliamentary representative yet, but one woman who has already clearly demonstrated that she is amongst the crop of new younger generation politicians that Kumekucha is always talking about and which the country needs so badly just now.
In fact when senior officials of Kanu and PNU at the constituency threw their weight behind Esther Passaris days before the polls, it looked like Ms Passaris was already home and dry. In a move that shocked many, the officials announced that they were backing Ms Passaris rather than their own candidate, Ferdinand Waititu who was endorsed by the likes of Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta.
However politics is politics and the final tally a few hours ago showed that Waititu trounced his rival by about 10,000 votes. So what happened?
Analysts are still groping around for answers. However it is useful to remember that the reason why the immediate former MP Melitius Were won in December 2007, was because the all important Kikuyu vote was split between a number of strong candidates including the now deceased David Mwenje and Ferdinand Waititu himself. This is the reason why the ODM high command cleverly went for a candidate who could be identified as Kikuyu in Ms Passaris whose mother is a Kikuyu born and bred in Embakasi constituency. Some sources tell me she was probably not Kikuyu enough and maybe not rough enough to convince the crucial college of extremely traditional Mungiki-sympathizer-voters who rule this vast Nairobi constituency. The clincher must have been the fact that she is not circumcised, something the Mungiki-types take very seriously indeed.
ODM officials will not be happy that they have lost this parliamentary seat that was previously there's in the strategically important Nairobi province. The fact that they have won Wajir North as a replacement will hardly console supporters of the party.
Additional Writing By Chris
Personally I would have been extremely surprised had Embakasi constituents elected Esther Passaris as their new legislator. I love Ms Passaris and I believe that she would have made the perfect member of parliament for this constituency that has so many problems.
However in my heart I wondered if the ODM high command in backing Passaris had considered all the facts on the ground. Top on the list is the strong Mungiki influence in the constituency. Everybody knows that these guys will not vote for women who do NOT dress conservatively, let alone one who is NOT circumcised. So whilst the Passaris candidature created a lot of positive buzz in the press and amongst voters countrywide, winning on the ground in Embakasi was another issue altogether.
If truth be told, I was fairly impressed that Ms Passaris was able to garner over 26,000 votes. Clearly this was a credible effort and the experience will no doubt be pretty useful next time because I am sure that this is not the last that we have heard of this determined Passaris lady.