The results of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party primaries in Nairobi County have exposed huge disparities of inequality and completely total bias to one ethnic community in a party perceived to be multi ethnic.
Perceived to be multi-ethnic that is in especially the former Nyanza, Western, Nairobi, Rift Valley and Coast provinces, but the Nairobi which is highly cosmopolitan ODM primaries results are telling a completely different story.
Starting with the National Assembly nominations out of the city’s 17 constituencies, thirteen slots went to a single ethnic community that is the Luos mostly from the former Nyanza province and a mere four to the Luhyias and other ethnic communities who are perceived staunch supporters of ODM.
The worst inequalities are witnessed in the nominations of the city’s Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) with sixty eight nominations going to one single community while only eighteen going to the other ethnic communities.
The biggest irony of the whole business is the fact that in Nairobi county the Luhyia population of registered voters is pegged at 800, 000 while that of their neighbours from the Luo Nyanza is pegged at 200, 000. Therefore combined the total number of the other ethnic groups resident in the city who are staunch supporters of ODM is by far much higher than that of the Luo Nyanza community who are hoarding these elective seats in this year’s electioneering process.
This clearly implies that the rest of the communities are simply being used as ladders to catapult the Luo Nyanza community into office while they are being systematically abandoned to the periphery without having anybody of their own to articulate their issues.
What has clearly emerged is that the financial might of the Nairobi governor Evans Kidero who was handed a direct nomination certificate by the ODM leadership played a critical role in influencing the results of the highly discredited primaries of the party in the county.
The worst aspect of the whole irony is the fact that Kidero made his billions and wealth from the highly troubled giant Mumias Sugar Company which he left in tatters after gutting its prowess with his cronies – otherwise when he left the Nation Media Group as Managing Director Newspapers Division to head Mumias Sugar he had nothing much to talk about.
Just as he was deadly and ruthless in his operations on taking over Mumias Sugar from the British Booker Tate Plc management by hounding out managers he perceived to be a threat to his position as Chief Executive Officer, Kidero is clearly executing the same to consolidate his political career in Nairobi and beyond.
The emerging details indicate that the Nairobi governor used his financial mighty to influence the personalities who were going to win in the primaries for those vying for the National Assembly and County Assembly seats nominations.
The principal issue being to consolidate his power base in the city in total disregard of the fact that his county government has failed to pay more than 10, 000 of its employees their monthly salaries since April.
Otherwise combined the Luhyia and the other ethnic communities who are supporters of ODM is highly concentrated in Nairobi’s expansive and populous Eastlands, in the West in Satelite, Kawangware, Dagoretti and the adjacent residential areas and Southlands in Langata, South C and B, Nairobi West while that of the Luos is mostly in Kibera and Mathare.
The above mentioned areas are the ones where a majority of the Nairobi County’s constituencies and wards are found; therefore it is baffling that only personalities from one ethnic community dominate the list of those who won the nominations.
Indeed it goes without saying that Kidero’s ancestral origins are from the Luo dominated former Nyanza province therefore for him to use his powerful financial might to influence personalities from the same region to these elective positions may be a foregone conclusion.
Considering the fact that the just ending Nairobi County Assembly gave Kidero sleepless nights with more than two impeachment motions leveled against him within a span of less than three years that he survived – it is credible that the governor would want an assembly that is not going to give him political nightmares if he succeeds in defending his seat to return as the city’s governor.
Though he survived the impeachment motions, what is clear is the fact that the governor spent huge amounts of cash in fighting for his political helm of the city’s county government by compromising some of the Members of the County Assembly who were baying for his blood.
That nightmare may be history if Kidero has a majority of the Members of the County Assembly are personalities he financed to get the ODM party nomination certificates and for whom he is obviously going to finance their campaigns to win these seats at the August general elections.
It is more or less the same strategy in having his own cronies also elected into the National Assembly to defend his personal interests at that level in case Kidero faces critical issues that may haul him out to face some of those powerful parliamentary committees.
The consequences of this state of affairs are that first the marginalized groups will definitely feel disenfranchised and can easily gang up and hit back with a backlash of devastating consequences especially at the ballot boxes in the coming general elections.
Instead of voting for the ODM nominated candidates at that level they may easily turn around to vote for the ODM opposition candidates in revenge or simply those who are vying for these seats as independent candidates.
Indeed Kidero himself can easily fall victim of his own machinations during the coming general elections by those he influenced to lose at the nominations and their supporters simply voting for Michael Mbuvi Sonko of Jubilee who is perceived to be Kidero’s strongest challenger at the coming general elections.
In the emerging scenario, the worst affected community is the Luhyas with their powerful vote of more than 800, 000 that can easily have devastating consequences on Kidero’s election if the entire block was turned over to Sonko or opponents of any of the cronies he engineered in securing the ODM nomination certificates for both the National and County Assemblies seats.
In fact this development is a clear warning to the Luhya and other ODM supporting ethnic communities that unless they consolidate the might of their vote and vote as a bloc for a personality who is going to fight for and articulate their interests irrespective of the political party – they will always be used as rubber stamps in the vicious political arena not only of Nairobi but the entire country.
It is also a clear indicator that tribalism is so heavily entrenched in the country’s murky political dispensation just like the vicious cancerous sore that is corruption in its economy and systems running the government.