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Bring it on, Sonko tells Wamalwa on race for Nairobi top seat

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has criticised a section of MPs for endorsing Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to contest the Nairobi County governor seat in 2017.

Speaking during a rally at Gitothua Secondary School in Kiambu on Sunday, Senator Sonko said the next governor of the city should be elected by the residents of Nairobi, and not endorsed by individuals for their personal interests.

Mr Sonko said: “I am not afraid of competing with anybody who gets endorsed for the Nairobi governor position. All I ask is that we have fair nominations.”

His host at the rally, Kiambu governor William Kabogo, added: “Residents of Nairobi should be allowed to vote for their preferred candidate. Sonko should deliver that message to the people of Nairobi.”

At the same time, one of the MPs who endorsed Mr Wamalwa, Mr Kanini Kega (Kieni), said their move is meant to neutralise the Opposition’s dominance in the devolved unit.

“We cannot have the capital city governed by the opposition party,” said Mr Kega.

He said Jubilee is working hard to have the leadership of the country’s capital aligned with the ruling side.

The lawmaker spoke in Naromoru, Nyeri County, at the weekend.

Elsewhere, the debate on who should be Nairobi’s next governor intensified on Sunday, with three MPs backing Mr Wamalwa in his bid to unseat the incumbent Evans Kidero in 2017.

The leaders — Mr Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Mr Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Mr Stephen Kariuki (Mathare) — also said they want a new electoral team to be headed by retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala.

The lawmakers said all Kenyans have a right to contest in any part of the country.

Mr Kuria said Nairobi County belongs to the country’s 42 tribes and no one should be barred from contesting. “CS Wamalwa has a right to seek that seat,” he said.

Mr Kariuki asked Mr Wamalwa not to be cowed by demands from some leaders that he should not vie for the seat.