Johnstone Muthama promises to deliver Nairobi to Nasa

Sunday July 16 2017

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama addressing Nasa supporters during Saba Saba rally at Kamukunji grounds, Nairobi, on July 7, 2017. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama addressing Nasa supporters during Saba Saba rally at Kamukunji grounds, Nairobi, on July 7, 2017. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU 

By KITAVI MUTUA
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Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama is upbeat he will deliver Nairobi to Nasa.

Mr Muthama, who is also the deputy head of Nasa presidential campaigns, has expressed optimism that the coalition will bag 14 out of the city’s 17 parliamentary seats.

“For me, it is more useful in terms of votes when helping with ground work in Nairobi than accompanying our presidential candidate across the country” Mr Muthama said.

The senator hosted a rally at Nairobi City stadium last weekend where he assured the Kamba community that their political interests are best served within Nasa.

“I have been charged with overseeing the Nairobi campaigns and I want to assure voters that being an enemy of the Jubilee administration, I will make sure no vote is lost come August 8,” said Mr Muthama.

PROPAGANDA

Mr Muthama said his relationship with Mr Musyoka is intact and dismissed as propaganda claims that he had fallen out with his party leader.

“There is no way I can betray Mr Musyoka. We are inseparable and the day he leaves Nasa we will leave together,” he said adding that quitting Wiper would amount to destroying what he worked so hard to build over the years.

He said his critics had misunderstood him as his main mission was to ensure that what happened to the late legendary Kamba leader Paul Ngei, Muindi Mbingu, Gen Jackson Mulinge does not happen to Mr Musyoka.

The Senator stressed that under his stewardship, he would ensure that Wiper secured three parliamentary seats and 20 ward rep slots in three constituencies namely, Lang’ata, Kamukunji and Embakasi South.

DITCHED OPPOSITION

Mr Muthama triggered speculation that he had ditched the opposition when he took a break from Nasa political campaigns and went on an extended trip abroad soon after announcing he won’t defend his seat.

However, he is back at the centre of Nasa campaigns with the task of ensuring that political rivalry among parliamentary candidates of coalition’s affiliate parties doesn’t cost them seats.

A senior advisor to the Nasa leadership Dr Temi Mutia said Mr Muthama had never withdrawn from Wiper party or Nasa and his relationship with both Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka was “intact and excellent” hence the trust they have put in him.

Dr Mutia who is assisting Mr Muthama in his new role said their work was important to the coalition’s overall performance in Nairobi which is home to more than 2.2 million voters.

UHURU KENYATTA

“We must ensure that our presidential candidate beats Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, our Governor retains the seat while also garnering majority national and county assembly seats”  Dr Mutia said.

In Kenya’s ethnic politics, the political dynamics of 2013 which saw Dr Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke clinch the Nairobi gubernatorial contest are seen to have changed with the emergence of Senator Sonko.

Mr Sonko, a Kamba is feared to pose a threat if his candidacy eats into Nasa core support of populous Kamba community.  

The Nasa affiliate parties are also said to have mapped and shared the city’s parliamentary seats where ODM was to field candidates in eleven constituencies which it stood better chances of winning.

PATNER PARTIES

In the agreement, Wiper party was to field candidates exclusively in only four constituencies without facing competition from partner parties while the remaining five were mapped as free for all parties. The constituencies reserved for Wiper include Embakasi south, Embakasi east, Kamukunji and Langata.

However, this arrangement was messed after candidates of affiliate parties insisted on running outside their designated areas, triggering an internal competition within the coalition that threatens to give rival Jubilee party advantage.

According to Mr Musili Mawathe, the Embakasi south Wiper candidate, Mr Muthama is expected to harmonise rivalry among the Nasa candidates in the city to avoid losing seats and votes for the coalition.

GEORGE ALADWA

“Wiper party has fielded four candidates under that arrangement including myself in Embakasi south, Judy Achieng Sijeny in Lang'ata and Ibrahim Johnie in Kamukunji.

Mr Mawathe said the zoning of city constituencies based on individual party strength saw Wiper candidate Mr Joshua Kitivi withdraw his candidature in favour of George Aladwa in Makadara constituency.

Since last year, Mr Muthama has moved from being a staunch political ally of Mr Musyoka to a perceived political impediment to his party’s aspirations in Ukambani region.

His role in swearing an affidavit that saw Machakos Wiper gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti’s nomination nullified by IEBC last month was seen as the climax of the high octane Kamba politics. Mr Ndeti has since been cleared by IEBC.