- The difference between Governor Sakaja and his deputy is a claim that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is secretly grooming Mr Muchiri to run against the Governor in 2027. Governor Sakaja is still young, brilliant and also a shrewd politician, all indications are that he will defend his seat against his deputy come 2027
- It is claimed that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had initially planned to use the County Assembly where Kenya Kwanza commands half the MCAs to impeach Mr Sakaja and to have DG Muchiri serve the remainder of the term and then defend the seat in 2027
- Several names have also been mentioned as possible successors to Mr Sakaja at City Hall. Apart from DG Muchiri, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s name has been mentioned as a possible Kenya Kwanza flag bearer. According to those scheming for the coveted seat, Mr Sonko can easily deliver the seat to Kenya Kwanza in the absence of Mr Sakaja, however, having been impeached, he is not allowed to hold any public office at the moment, sources claim a ruling on his appeal may succeed before the next elections
- Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo is also said to be contemplating shifting his political base from Kiambiu to Nairobi. Although he has failed to secure a state job despite having campaigned for President William Ruto, some Mount Kenya kingpins are said to be pushing him to relocate to Nairobi
- Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna is also said to be secretly assembling his team to run for the gubernatorial seat but his main opponent will be Tim Wanyonyi who enjoys the backing of Raila Odinga. Mr Odinga has claimed that the three-term MP should be ready to serve Nairobians in a much higher capacity hinting he will endorse him to fly Azimio’s gubernatorial flag in 2027
By The Weekly Vision
Barely eight months since voters in Nairobi County elected Johnson Sakaja as the city’s governor, politicians and political parties are already aligning in readiness for the 2027 gubernatorial battle. Political pundits have opined that Governor Sakaja is walking a tightrope and that his chances of defending the seat successfully remain slim. The big question now is whether he will succeed in breaking the jinx in Nairobi, voters in Nairobi seem to enjoy electing a fresh governor each election cycle, will he manage?
Politically speaking, all is not well at City Hall, as keen political observers agree that there is no love lost between the governor and his deputy Njoroge Muchiri. The two have fallen out, they do not see eye to eye. Their difference according to impeccable sources is a claim that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is secretly grooming Mr Muchiri to run against Governor Sakaja in 2027. Governor Sakaja is still young, brilliant and also a shrewd politician all indications are that he will defend his seat against his deputy come 2027, both Sakaja and Muchiri are said to be focusing on 2027 not as a pair again but as opponents.
The fallout between Governor Sakaji and his deputy is so deep to the extent that DG Muchiri is never delegated duties by his boss as one would expect. Governor Sakaja has been at loggerheads with his DG after word leaked out that he is plotting his downfall. It is claimed that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had initially planned to use the County Assembly where Kenya Kwanza commands half the MCAs to impeach Mr Sakaja and to have DG Muchiri serve the remainder of the term and then defend the seat in 2027.
This plot seems to have leaked out, Sakaja was forced by circumstances to reach out to ODM leader Raila Odinga who has since whipped ODM MCAs to fully support Mr Sakaja. The deal between Governor Sakaja and Raila Odinga led to the appointment of several of Mr Odinga’s allies in the city administration to the chagrin of DP Gachagua. The impeachment plot has since been aborted, backfired and has been dropped. The DP’s plan now is to ensure that Mr Muchiri becomes Kenya Kwanza’s gubernatorial flag bearer in 2027 while Governor Sakaja is also said to be working on his plan B, to counter the move. The only option for Governor Sakaja now is to jump ship and join Azimio. Knowing so well that winning a nomination contest in Kenya Kwanza against DG Muchiri will be practically impossible as long as the DP Gachagua is in the game.
Several names have been mentioned as possible successors to Mr Sakaja at City Hall. Apart from DG Muchiri, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s name has been mentioned as a possible Kenya Kwanza flag bearer. According to those scheming for the coveted seat, Mr Sonko can easily deliver the seat to Kenya Kwanza in the absence of Mr Sakaja. Those pushing for a Sonko candidature want him to relocate from Mombasa to Nairobi, they claim he enjoys overwhelming support across the political divide and ethnic groups in the city. However, having been impeached, he is not allowed to hold any public office at the moment, sources claim a ruling on his appeal may succeed before the next elections.
Another name is that of former Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe who lost to Governor Sakaja in the last elections. There are speculations that he might decamp from Azimio and join Kenya Kwanza. Should the Mount Kenya leaders fail to be convinced that DG Muchiri may not deliver the seat, then Mr Igathe will be the community’s best bet.
Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo is also said to be contemplating shifting his political base from Kiambiu to Nairobi. Although he has failed to secure a state job despite having campaigned for President William Ruto, some Mount Kenya kingpins are said to be pushing him to relocate to Nairobi. Another name being mentioned is that of the former National Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Richard Ngatia. Mr Ngatia campaigned for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in the last elections but withdrew in support of Mr Igathe. He was in Azimio but has since shifted allegiance and is now a staunch Ruto supporter, his deputy will likely be Tabitha Mutinda.
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri who is also the Kasarani MP is also said to be nursing gubernatorial ambitions in 2027. He is a close friend of President Ruto and DP Gachagua. Although many consider him a political greenhorn, those supporting his candidature say he is wealthy, accessible and has a bright political future. But even as Kenya Kwanza allied politicians continue to play their cards close to their chest, the Azimio side is also said to be doing their arithmetic on who will contest for Sakaja’s seat in 2027. Several scenarios face the Azimio side. One, what if Sakaja himself jumps ship to join Azimio? Under such circumstances, Azimio will give him the ticket. Mr Sakaja must therefore be ready to gamble, either to stick with Kenya Kwanza and be rigged out during nominations in Kenya Kwanza in favour of his DG Muchiri or join Azimio and face his deputy at the ballot.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna is also said to be secretly assembling his team to run for the gubernatorial seat. It is worth noting that the Senatorial seat has also seen some rich history as two senators had previously ascended to be Nairobi governors. Those within ODM pushing for Sifuna claim his support cuts across ethnic and party boundaries. This was exhibited in the last elections when he received more votes than Azimio’s gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe.
But even as Sifuna plots on how to succeed Sakaja in 2027, the Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga has hinted that the party’s most likely candidate, the one to fly the Orange Democratic Movement party ticket for Nairobi County Governor in 2027 is Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi. During the last elections, Mr Wanyonyi was forced to withdraw at the eleventh hour to support Mr Igathe. Sources say Wanyonyi had hinted that he could relocate to his home county of Bungoma and run for the gubernatorial race in the next elections. Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka is serving his final term and will not be eligible to run. Tim Wanyonyi plans to decamp to Ford-Kenya before 2027, the dominant party in Bungoma. Raila Odinga claimed that the three terms MP should be ready to serve Nairobi, residents, in a much higher capacity. Hinting he will endorse him to fly Azimio’s gubernatorial flag in 2027.
It is also being whispered that Dagoreti North MP Beatrice Elachi could also run for the gubernatorial seat. She is a former County Assembly Speaker and also served as Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender under retired president Uhuru Kenyatta. Former Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero who unsuccessfully ran for the Homa Bay seat is also said to be contemplating returning to city politics. Mr Kidero served as the first Nairobi governor before he was kicked out by Sonko. What is not known is whether he will mend fences with Raila Odinga and ODM and run on an ODM party ticket or will he run on a Kenya Kwanza ticket, he is likely to be deputised by MP Julius Mawathe.
But even as top politicians gamble as to whether they should run for the gubernatorial seat, it has also been discovered that several politicians are angling and lobbying for consideration for running mate’s positions. Nairobi Women Representative Esther Pasaris is said to be lobbying to upgrade her political profile having served for two terms as Women Rep. Her preferred candidate is said to be Edwin Sifuna. If Sifuna decides to run with Pasaris, then they can give Sakaja or Muchiri a run for their money.
Embakasi South MP Julius Mwathe is also being considered as a possible running mate under Azimio. He is most likely to replace Prof. Philip Kaloki who was Igathe’s running mate in the last elections. Azimio knows that getting Kamba votes is to have one of their own on the ballot as a candidate or running mate. Former Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu is also said to be plotting to upgrade her political profile and is eyeing a running mate slot, she is a Jubilee-allied MCA. Also said to be interested in the running mate position is former two-term councillor Paul Mutunga. Mr Mutungi also served as Chief of Staff at City Hall under Governor Ann Kananu’s administration. He was later appointed by Kananu as deputy governor however the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission rejected his nomination saying he had pending graft cases. He did not run for any seat in the last elections.
All said and done, a section of Mount Kenya leaders now claim that Governor Sakaja has benefited from them and hence should exit at the expiry of his first term to allow one of them to run the affairs of the city. They claim that GEMA gave him a nominated MP spot in 2013 and made him Senator in 2017 and Governor in 2022, it is enough, they say.
To be continued…..