By Gikonyo Kimani
Dennis Waweru’s political naivety is opening cracks that are best left undercover. In his knee jerk reaction to the proposal for Eugene Wamalwa to run for Governor, Waweru who is a moneyed banker, owns major shares in leading companies on the stock exchange and elsewhere, a landlord and property owner has incited an ethnic and class struggle within Nairobi politics and Mt Kenya politics in general. He has further sworn to be on the ballot come what may in a move that is seen as a rebellion against Uhuru Kenyatta in his own backyard.
Waweru’s campaign message has been nativist; appealing to Kikuyu chauvinism based on the few Kikuyu who own Nairobi. His message has been that those who own Nairobi should be left to govern it and not outsiders who come to the city for work and the little they can put together for their families through Jua Kali businesses.
The political newbie has bought into his camp the Kikuyu Council of Elders who in a strongly worded statement dismissed all other tribes in Nairobi as outsiders. The statement was released on Monday morning following the incendiary Kiambu declaration by Waititu and Co proposing Water CS Eugene Wamalwa as candidate for Nairobi Governor.
In a response to the Kikuyu Council of Elders, an organisation known as the Mumbi Foundation led by erstwhile Kikuyu operative Kingori Nderitu has come out to condemn their elders for advancing an exclusionist agenda in their quest for power. The group has embraced the term outsider on the basis that its membership of those from outside constitutes the 600,000 of the 617,000 votes Waititu got in 2013. Furthermore they assert that they own no property in Nairobi, have all come from rural backgrounds but consider Nairobi “a place of work” for all.
The Mumbi Foundation went ahead to request the council of elders to desist from using the outsider narrative as its membership lives and works in Machakos, Kajiado and Kiambu where the term outsiders can be easily used to expel them from their hard earned humble livelihoods.
Maina Kamanda would be wise to caution his project from inciting a class revolt in which their own Kikuyu masses will rebel against him and his type. The majority of Kikuyus have hard jobs that they struggle with to earn a living and pay exorbitant rents. They run difficult small businesses where Evans Kidero’s government harass them on a daily business so that he can facilitate his big business and land owning elite to which both Kamanda and Waweru belong.
The trajectory Dennis Waweru’s campaign is taking is dangerous and is becoming a national security issue with repercussions beyond Nairobi. He is slowly inciting ethnic and class wars he cannot contain once they reach critical point. He is also working against Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda of creating a truly national party in Jubilee and his nationalist agenda for uniting the whole country as his legacy. Maina Kamanda better put a leash on his project before it gets out of hand.