Sonko: My new deputy will be a Kikuyu woman
The identity of the individual to take over from former Nairobi deputy governor Polycarp Igathe is clearer now after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said that the individual will be a technocrat woman from the Kikuyu community.
In what might finally offer a sure sign that it is just a matter of when and not if, Governor Sonko on Monday said that he had narrowed down on the possible names that he will consider to take over from Mr Igathe who resigned in a huff in January citing failure to earn his boss’s trust to drive the planning and administration functions in the county.
“I know that the deputy governor post should go to a Kikuyu because they have a large population that supported me but let me appoint a Kikuyu I want. A technocrat, a professional and an elite. I already have names and I will give it to a woman but I need to consult first and the only people I will consult are President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president William Ruto,” said Sonko during an interview on Kameme FM.
Though not mentioning the exact names on his list, the City Hall boss said that he had decided that the third deputy governor for Nairobi will be a woman, a technocrat and from the Kikuyu community as an appreciation for their overwhelming support and staying with him throughout his political career.
“I have worked well with Kikuyus since 2010 where they overwhelmingly voted for me as Makadara MP. In 2013 they also voted for me as senator and later as a governor. They are not tribal and if they were, I would not have been the governor,” he said.
Notable among the names who have been hitting the headlines as possible contenders for the deputy governor seat are former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP and former Kamukunji legislator Simon Mbugua, former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo and corporate guru Ms Agnes Kagure.
Others are former Dagoretti South lawmaker Dennis Waweru, current Nairobi Education and Sports executive Ms Janet Ouko, former Nairobi senatorial contestant Sussan Silantoi, Jubilee party woman representative aspirant Karen Nyamu and former Kiambu Woman Representative Ann Nyokabi.
Sonko had recently floated a list that included TV journalist Anne Kiguta and Uhuru’s personal assistant Jomo Gecaga.
But this new proclamation by Mr Sonko has now pruned down the names on the list believed to have been fronted by diverse quarters ranging from politicians, lobby groups and the business community.
This now leaves Ms Kagure and Ms Nyokabi as the frontrunners in the race for the coveted position, as the other women in the list fail to meet all the criteria put forward by Sonko.
The 44-year-old Ms Kagure, a career businesswoman and insurance executive, is an astute businesswoman who in 2011 was named in the Top 40 women under 40 by Business Daily newspaper, an annual list of women who have risen to occupy positions of influence in Kenya before the age of 40, besides also being named as the Association of Kenya Insurers Agent of the Year for seven years running.
But as much as she is an amiable businesswoman believed to enjoy an overwhelming support from the business community in Nairobi, who control major businesses in the County 47 and are too powerful to be ignored, and has no political baggage and has the ear of the governor, her Achilles heel might just be the court cases facing her.
Ms Nyokabi, on the other hand, is Canadian educated holding qualifications in Political Science and Finance from York University in Toronto and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Business Management from Seneca College in Canada.
It was believed that Sonko had last month settled on Ms Kagure but the late entry of Ms Nyokabi into the race is said to have caught everyone off guard throwing a new spin into the already heated race with the under pressure City Hall boss now truly caught between a rock and a hard place.
Ms Nyokabi is a relative to President Kenyatta, in fact a cousin.