By Mutinda Kavemba
The race for the Nairobi Gubernatorial Seat is getting more interesting with new entrants declaring interest every other day with the latest being Former Speaker Kenneth Marende following closely the earlier declaration by Water CS,hon. Eugene Wamalwa. Many others are said to be silently eyeing the Job and are likely to declare interest in the coming days,time will surely tell on that one!
This rush for the Nairobi Governors Seat is most likely going to make the Key issues bedevilling this City buried in the discussions around the personalities vying.
There is nothing wrong with discussing Personalities in elections,it’s actually inevitable as elections are about Personalities.
My point is that,all other factors held Constant,this personalities should only be discussed in relation to the challenges facing Nairobi City County and what these Personalities promise and lay out as their Plans and proposals for turning around the City.
It should be about we the electorates assesment of their abilities,actions,leadership record and intent as they seek high office.
Having said that,the 2017 election is being held at a time when Nairobi County is undergoing the worst leadership crisis in a long time in as far as failure to provide basic services to residents is concerned,yet in total contradiction,it is also the time it has received unprecedented highest amounts of Public Funds from both the exchequer as Devolved Funds and as Locally Collected revenue from Nairobians with a combined total of Kshs. 30B per year.
This will translate to 150B in the 5 years Kidero will have been at the helm by the time we go for the 2017 elections. Most Nairobians agree that Nairobi has never been dirtier and messier than is the current case. Uncollected garbage is in every corner of The City up to and including The town Centre.
The public health sector is on its knees if not its belly,with horror stories of patients losing babies from Pumwani maternity to the frequent cases of avoidable cases of loss of life in the Mama Lucy and Mbagathi hospitals,institutions which directly fall under the County Govt of Nairobi.
Over kshs. 8B is budgeted for health services every year yet it is reflected No where in the quality of services offered in the City Public Health institutions. Lab equipment is always faulty and the pharmacies are ever lacking key basic drugs explaining the many mushrooming private pharmacists and lab technicians always conveniently located a stone throw away from the Nairobi County Key Public Health institutions.
The ownership of these private businesses and the “private referral” arrangement they maintain with the staff of the County Govt Health institutions will reveal a clear conspiracy by cartels to unfairly make money and exploit sick Nairobians.
That’s the highest abuse of Public Trust by a Public officer but they don’t care at all!
There are many other examples that point to the need for change of the Political leadership in Nairobi.
Just to emphasis the importance and centrality of leadership in determining how Nairobi is managed, allow me to use the example of the John Gakuo era as town Clerk and the late Hon. Dick Wathika as Mayor.
This is because it is the last known era in the recent times when City Hall had some semblance of order and residents were feeling as if there was a genuine effort to give them the best in terms of services.
In this period,Order in the CBD was restored and the never ending hawkers and street families menace tamed,garbage was collected,streets swept,trees and flowers planted and the town was ever well light at night. All this positive difference only using the then locally collected revenue which was a drop in the ocean when compared to the Billions Kidero gets annually.
The only difference between the current era and that past glorious era besides the extra Billions which Kidero is getting and which Gakuo never had is the Kind of leadership in City Hall.
Genuine Delivery of quality Public Service to Nairobians was a key priority and focus of the Gakuo and Wathika leadership while the Kidero leadership is about amassing of Wealth using Public Position,what others refer to as primitive accumulation of Wealth.
Admittedly,both have done well in what they set out to do,at great Public benefit for John Gakuo and at Great loss and Cost to the Public for Kidero’s case.
That is the best illustration I can give of the importance of putting in place a good leadership at City Hall in 2017 and ensuring the current incompetent and corrupt one under Kidero is sent home in 2017.
This is where my interest in those who have offered themselves for the Nairobi Gubernatorial seat comes in and especially those from the JUBILEE side.
The Jubilee side not only because I politically belong there but because of the realisation that it will be next to impossible for ODM to give anybody else the ticket for the Seat other than Kidero.
Forget the rumours about ODM dangling the seat to some other leaders,it’s all a scheme to put Kidero under pressure so that he doesn’t relax in funding the PARTY,something he is known to do generously.
This then means that a meaningful challenge to Kidero can only be launched and sustained by JUBILEE.
Who then in JUBILEE seems to have the qualities,experience and track record to turn around the City if elected Governor?
This is a question all Nairobians and especially those from JUBILEE should ask themselves.
Who among Eugene Wamalwa,Margaret Wanjiru,Dennis Waweru,Johnson Sakaja,Mike Sonko and Kenneth Marende seem to have what it takes to successfully manage such a big and important City as Nairobi,the Capital City of Kenya?
Who among them as got the capacity,depth and understanding to comprehend the Complex challenges facing Nairobians and to put in place policy and execution mechanisms and systems for effective implementation of programs that offer sustainable solutions?
Who among them appears more committed and true to the call of Public duty than the others?
Who has the Integrity and Character and who has demonstrated genuine and honest Concern and Care for Public welfare and good?
Who has the Competence and is best suited for the Job?
Who has the Political acumen to have an all inclusive approach to leadership and Politics that will make all feel included and safe to be in Nairobi irrespective of their Political affiliation?
Who among them appears to be Potential Future Presidential material?
This is because the Governor’s Position,being an executive Position just like that of President makes it the best incubation phase for Potential Future Presidents,more so the Governorship of Nairobi mainly due to its big population,ethnic diversity,Political dynamics,size of economy,highly developed infrastructure and finally its strategic importance as Capital City of Kenya and regional Commercial,financial and technological hub.
This combination of factors makes the Position of Nairobi Governor the defacto 3rd most important Elective Position in Kenya after those of the President and Deputy President Respectively.
I believe that in finding the answers to these Pertinent Questions,lies the choice of leader we need for Nairobi County.
Look at all the candidates through the mirror of the above questions and decide for yourself who to support among those who have so far offered themselves.
I have also done the same.
Incase you see me biased towards a certain JUBILEE Candidate for Governor,you will know how I arrived at the decision.
My soft spot for Hon. Eugene Wamalwa emanates from the answers I gave to the above Questions.
Go ahead and do the same and kindly also take your Pick!
This City and Country is bigger than any individual and thus individuals and Personalities should only be discussed in the light of what Contribution they can make to our collective good at whatever level of leadership one is mandated.
All the best as you make the right decision for our dear City County and Country.
Aspirant for Senator,Nairobi County.