Nairobi: Ngatia favourite for Azimio ticket, to face UDA’s Wanjiru or Amani’s Sakaja
By Justus Karanja
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Richard Ngatia (pictured) is the favourite to clinch the Azimio la Umoja ticket in this year’s Nairobi gubernatorial race.
Ngatia, if picked by the Azimio coalition that brings together President Uhuru Kenyatta’s wing of Jubilee and Raila’s Odinga’s ODM, among other parties, will likely square it out with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance’s (UDA) Bishop Margaret Wanjiru or Musalia Mudavadi-led Amani National Congress’ Johnston Sakaja.
Sakaja is the Nairobi senator and has joined the race for Amani ticket in the city governor’s seat.
UDA and ANC have struck as truce that will see them jointly field candidates.
Businesswoman Agnes Kagure is likely to seek for the seat on Kanu ticket after being edged out of Raila’s inner core by Ngatia.
The Nairobi race continues to gain momentum with Ngatia even branding cars as he prepares to join the race.
According to People Daily, there is proposed a line-up by a section of ODM leaders where Ngatia will be deputised by Makadara MP George Aladwa, a Luhya.
The line-up for city seats has Nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka going for Woman Representative on Azimio.
Incumbent Esther Passaris of ODM is being pressurised to seek Starehe seat currently held by Charles Kanyi alias Jaguar who recently defected to UDA.
With 2,250,853 registered voters, 3,378 polling stations and 17 constituencies, Nairobi is one of the biggest battlegrounds for leading presidential aspirants - Deputy President William Ruto and Raila.
Azimio has also zoned the 17 parliamentary seats where the Kikuyu community will get the lion’s share of tickets followed by the Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Kisii and Somali communities.
The arrangement takes into consideration each community’s voter numbers in the electoral unit their member will be fielded to face other candidates.
Raila, who is being backed by the President, is keen to give the populous community lucrative seats so as to win their support.
If Kwamboka is picked by Azimio, she will fight it out with UDA’s Karen Nyamu, who is the favourite to clinch the ticket.
The Azimio line-up was proposed during a recent consultative meeting between Ngatia and members of the Gusii community residing in Nairobi, led by Kwamboka, who threw their weight behind the chair of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Kwamboka was accompanied by five Nairobi Ward Reps—Evans Otiso (Kwa Reuben), Kemunto Ernapet (nominated), Moses Ogetto (Kilimani), Silas Ongwae (Dandora Area 2), and Jared Akhama (Mugumoini) and former Kwa Reuben MCA Samuel Nyangwara.