Raila sidelined in strategy to win Nairobi governorship by-elections

The race to succeed former Nairobi County governor Mike Sonko heats up with ODM leader Raila Odinga sidelined in the latest development.

The high stakes in the race have attracted the interests of Deputy President William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

NASA principals Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Moses Wetang’ula have sideline Raila Odinga ahead of the Nairobi gubernatorial elections, with reports indicating the trio planning to cease control of the county.

The three held a joint closed-door meeting at Stoni Athi Resort in which the former premier was not invited, to foster a plan for Nairobi and other mini polls, with Raila also expected to team up with President Kenyatta to field candidates.

Their move is seen as an emergence of a third alliance ready to battle it out with the handshake team of President Uhuru and Raila, and the hustler team of DP Ruto.

It is also viewed as an indication of severing political ties with the ODM leader Raila Odinga with whom they formed NASA in the last general elections, for their own pact.

Reports indicate that the trio has also agreed to have ANC candidate Peter Oscar Nabulindo for the Matungu seat left vacant following Justus Murunga’s death, a former ANC candidate.  

In the Kabuchai mini polls, the three leaders are planning to back a Ford Kenya candidate, with the backing of the other two parties to replace James Lusweti formerly of Ford Kenya.

The same is to be duplicated in the race to succeed Machakos senator Boniface Kabaka a wiper member who was elected on a Chama cha Uzalendo party. They are yet to agree on how to handle the Nairobi County top seat.

“The three parties have agreed to back one candidate in each of the three by-elections. The pact is premised on the need to prevent sibling rivalry by the partner parties,” said a source at the meeting.

Reports further indicate that the meeting is geared towards testing their joint popularity with the by-elections ahead of 2022.

“We are already working on plans for the 2022 alliance. Currently, our focus is on clinching the seats left vacant before we can embark on a journey for the next General Election,” he said.

“As ANC, we are not fielding a candidate in Kabuchai. We will also not field a candidate in Machakos. Our focus is on Matungu and the other partners have agreed to back our candidate,” said Mr. Savula.

ODM through their chairman John Mbadi however declared that they will field a candidate in the by-elections adding that their gameplay will not be anchored on their relationship with the other outfits.   

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    Written by Fred Orido

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