Left, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko when he presented his nomination papers for governor seat on March 17 and Right, Peter Kenneth submitting his on March 15 /VICTOR IMBOTO/ /MONICA MWANGI
It’s Kenneth or Sonko, Jubilee in secret talks
Behind-the-scenes talks are in top gear to have Jubilee aspirants in Nairobi, among them Senator Mike Sonko and Peter Kenneth reach a consensus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party fears that subjecting some candidates to competitive primaries will create friction, open the party to infiltration, and hurt the presidential campaigns.
Sonko and Kenneth are embroiled in a vicious battle for the Jubilee ticket for the Nairobi governor seat. They want to unseat ODM’s Evans Kidero.Also in the race for the JP ticket is former Starehe MP bishop Margaret Wanjiru.
The scramble for the ticket has caused rifts among Nairobi MPs who are now split into two factions.
While one group is backing Kenneth, another one has thrown its weight behind Sonko. “Jubilee’s top leadership wants candidates for various seats in Nairobi to reach a consensus,” said a source familiar with the behind-the-scenes schemes in the President’s party.
The source said Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto have sanctioned the talks, with firm instructions that aspirants must agree.
“The leadership wants a scenario of not having party primaries in Nairobi,” the source said. Also in the talks are Jubilee parliamentary aspirants where the party has slim chances of victory. The aim is to give direct tickets to JP candidates, deemed to be strongest, in NASA strongholds.
At least five constituencies will agree on who among Jubilee aspirants will be handed direct nominations.
They include Embakasi West, Embakasi East, Ruaraka, Lang’ata and Kibra. Ruaraka has three JP aspirants.
“We must be more organised as a party so that we concentrate on the Presidential campaigns,” said another source.
Source: The Star