Why Parties Should Handpick Gubernatorial Candidates for Nairobi

  • Acting Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu speaking at a past event in March 2018.
    Acting Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu speaking at a past event in March 2018.
    The Standard
  • The swearing-in of incoming Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu has been marred with numerous court cases that sought to stop it. 

    However, players in political circles are now saying the time could be ripe for political parties to reconsider how they pick candidates for the city's top seat. Pundits argue that the seat is too significant to be issued based solely on the candidate’s popularity - a trend that reportedly led to the chaos being witnessed in Nairobi. 

    According to the National Assembly's Public Accounting Committee (PAC) Chairman Opiyo Wandayi, political parties have a role to play when it comes to the leadership of the country’s capital 

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    Nairobi County Deputy Governor and Acting Governor Anne Kananu Mwenda takes the oath of office on Friday, January 16, 2021
    Twitter
    Anne Kananu / Twitter

    “Nairobi is the biggest contributor to our GDP so any government should pay keen attention to it and even then Nairobi is the gateway to the country.

    "My view is that even though we have this temporary transfer of functions to the national government, that should only be a stop gap measure. Ultimately, the long term solution to the problems that are facing Nairobi as a county lies in leadership," Wandayi remarked. 

    He added that he was of the view that political parties must have the latitude to decide who flies their ticket for what position - in order to introduce more strategic managers to the city's politics. 

    “This idea of leaving it to the people to pick candidates for political parties yet they have got no capacity to even conduct those nominations to be able to get out the best out of what people are picking - I don’t think that’s right. “ 

    “Any serious political party hoping to lead Nairobi must be able to headhunt for the right person to present to the people to vote for," the MP opined. 

    Nairobi is the economic nerve centre of the country, with over 4 million residents in 17 constituencies and 85 wards.

    This comes in the wake of an impeachment proceeding that saw Nairobi's elected Governor Mike Sonko sent home through an impeachment process.

    Kananu's contested appointment as Deputy Governor was as a result of Polycarp Igathe's resignation, due to what he termed as frustration by his boss

    Sonko had been elected to replace former governor Evans Kidero who served one term between 2013 and 2017. 

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko pictured in court on December 4, 2020.
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko pictured in court on December 4, 2020.
    The Standard