By The Weekly Vision Team
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is a man on a political mission, according to sources. Mr Sonko is planning to abandon President William Ruto and the UDA party to join the Kalonzo Musyoka-led Wiper party. Speculation is rife that he is a disappointed man after the president reportedly failed to implement a pre-election MoU the two signed just before the last general elections.
Mr Sonko’s latest move has caused panic within the UDA and ODM parties, with sources adding that he is set to re-launch and re-activate his political structures in Nairobi County. What is still standing between him and a political comeback into elective politics, however, is the impeachment that he is currently fighting at the Arusha-based court. Other sources told The Weekly Vision that a section of legislators allied to Kenya Kwanza are pushing for an amendment to allow impeached governors or state officers to run for elective positions.
Mr Sonko wants to make a political comeback and run for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in 2027. His planned defection from UDA to Wiper is a result of mistrust and a failure by President Ruto to honour the MoU they signed before he abandoned Kalonzo to support his presidential bid. President Ruto had promised Mr Sonko one post of CS in the national government, three PS national governments, four ambassadors, three CECs in Mombasa County, three chief officers in Mombasa County, two CECs in Nairobi County, and three chief officers in Nairobi County.
However, not even a single one of those promises has been met by the president. It is for this reason that his entry into the Nairobi gubernatorial race will complicate matters for ODM, whose party leader, Raila Odinga, has publicly endorsed Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi as his preferred candidate for the seat.
Analysts say the entry of Sonko will also cause a devastating defeat for Governor Sakaja, who is most likely to defend his seat on the UDA ticket. There are also indications that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is pushing for Nairobi Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri to contest against Sakaja.
In a scenario where Sonko runs on a Wiper ticket against Sakaja, Wanyonyi, and Muchiri, chances are high that Sonko might carry the day. Analysts say, first, Sakaja and Wanyonyi will split the Luhya votes 50:50. Two, Sonko will sweep clean the Kamba votes and share the spoils of Kikuyu votes. It should also be noted that Sonko’s support cuts across political party affiliation, ethnic, and religious boundaries.
During the 2017 Nairobi gubernatorial elections, Sonko received votes across ethnic and party borders and received even more votes than ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga in Nairobi County. Sources now say that should Sonko pick a running mate from the Mount Kenya region, he can be assured of overwhelming support from the region, as was witnessed during the 2017 elections. Speculation is also rife that Sonko could pick former Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu as his running mate to attract the female vote.
It is imperative to note that Sonko’s planned defection is coming soon after former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu defected from the UDA to the Azimio Coalition.
Analysts say that Sonko’s re-launch will be a double sword for President Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga, and the earlier he announces his defection, the better for Kalonzo, the perceived Azimio presidential candidate in 2027.