It is certified science that humans are deeply irrational beings. This is the reason why Senator Sonko is leading in opinion polls, both real and cooked like a recently released one. It is not in contest that Sonko is in the lead. He has achieved this by understanding the irrationality of men and acting irrationally to appeal to them. People don’t choose candidates through some logical check list but rather through a flawed emotional process. Sonko is perhaps the only candidate with an emotional connection to his support base.
That notwithstanding, the recently released opinion poll by The Centre for African Progress (CAP) is dubious and a continuation of Sonko’s political trickery to keep his support locked, set and frame the conversation and deflate the support of the other candidates. Its publication in both The Star Newspaper and on K24 is a coup on his part because he has found credible institutions to legitimize an otherwise cooked up poll. Needless to say, the poll is going to frame the politics and will be a consistent feature in Nairobi politics. Ignore it to your own peril. But who are the real winners and losers in this poll?
Mike Sonko 37% – Loser
Mike Sonko continuously shows a deep misunderstanding of Kikuyu political power from whom he expects endorsement for Nairobi Governor. In the many political tools that the Kikuyu establishment detests, opinion polls rank first by far. Opinion polls were used by Raila Odinga in the run up to the 2007 polls against Kikuyu power to decimate their public standing and setting the whole nation against them. Raila’s use of opinion polls as a tool of exclusion, intimidation, agenda setting and absolute blackmail has earned polls a bad rep with Kikuyu power. Sonko’s use of this same strategy takes Kikuyu power back to that place they hate most; a place of victimhood, hostage and blackmail. As far as they go, Sonko’s attempt at blackmail is detestable and does not endear him to them in any way. Being the owners of the ticket he desires, he has badly miscalculated with this one. His 37% is also a huge drop from the 58% he once had when the field was between himself and Kidero. 37 is the best he’s ever going to have. He’s the one set to lose the most as we go on as other campaigns. Expect a 33% or less next time.
Evans Kidero 24% – Winner
Kidero is a sleeping giant. This constant poking at him with political machinations will awaken him soon enough and Nairobi will cry. Kidero is the incumbent, enjoys a solid political base, has unsurpassable political money, has a credible team of operatives around him and is going to die before he loses the election. Of all the candidates in the race none wants it more than Kidero does. 24% at this point in time is a lot seeing he has done absolutely nothing apparent to the eye. The moment his campaign machine kicks off Nairobi will acknowledge his presence, desire and money. This kind of polls is likely to awaken him from his slumber. Kidero’s numbers will only go up.
Dennis Waweru 13% – Winner
Dennis Waweru is lucky to get 13%. He is approaching the JAP nominations as Jeb Bush did the republican nominations; entitled. We all know how it ended for Bush and if Waweru isn’t careful he’ll suffer the same fate. Waweru is soft, uninspiring, out of touch and a lightweight. His team is playing a very languid campaign that is almost sardonic. The one person who should be all over the place is playing pretty. The first rule of campaign strategy is that your candidate must be the opposite of the incumbent, a rule the Sonko campaign understands very well. Waweru’s team is incredibly projecting Waweru as a successful professional, something Kidero did, a campaign that has already been done and binned. Projecting him as a Bank Chairman in an era of failing banks due to insider theft is strategic suicide. It’s very clear his campaign team has little knowledge and experience in politics. When you consider all that; 13% is a great score. To move beyond that, he’ll have to do a 360 in strategic positioning and direction.
Margaret Wanjiru 8% – Loser
Mama Chungwa’s best days are behind her. Her political star will keep dipping and may very well black out once and for all. Her biggest problem has to do with loyalty and trust. Shortly after duping Raila for her Son’s ticket for the Mathare constituency ticket she unceremoniously dumped him for Jubilee. Jubilee consider her a mole and Cord consider her a traitor. Her 8% reflects the depths she has fallen from once being the undisputed matriarch of Nairobi. These days, Shebesh does better than she does.
Johnson Sakaja 7% – Loser
If there ever was a failure to launch, it is Johnson Sakaja. For a man who goes around bars boasting about his political strategy prowess and how he did it for Uhuruto, his own term as party chairman, nominated MP and Governor Candidate have been indictable. How someone with such a brilliant and strategic mind as he says can make so devastating a blunder as his campaign has been is unprecedented. His own party is being wound up, his signature legislation was a plagiarized and his candidature is limp and flaccid. Sakaja is at the best he’ll be, he better cash out now and negotiate with the other candidates.
Miguna Miguna 1.5% – Winner
Nairobi is generally the winner on this one. Miguna will provide a welcome breath of honesty, jest, braggadocio and entertainment in a way that would have made the campaign very boring indeed. None of the other candidates offers good TV viewing as Miguna does. We’ll be looking forward to those TV debates because Miguna!
Fwamba N.C Fwamba 0.5% – Winner
Fwamba is the only person to appear in the poll who hasn’t announced his candidature yet. An easy going fellow who values networks and is known across the political establishment but has yet to penetrate the masses, the fact that Fwamba shows up in the poll is amazing. He has been fronting himself as the Jubilee Luhya Supremo in Nairobi politics. Fwamba is a close confidant to Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who honoured Fwamba with a guest appearance at his political birthday party the other day. It is here that Eugene first declared that Jubilee is the party and New Ford Kenya is dead. Fwamba’s movements around town consulting Luhya leadership at the top and the bottom must be paying off. Frequently dismissed as a nobody with a big ambition, Fwamba’s political future is promising. He’s definitely going to be Nairobi Governor one day.
All in all, the veracity of this poll is under doubt. Critics however say that were elections to be held today, the results would not be any different from what the dubious poll says.