Why MPs rejected fiery Norman Magaya in Eala election

Friday December 15 2017

Norman Magaya

Nasa CEO Norman Magaya. He got 52 votes. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By NATION TEAM
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Nasa CEO Norman Magaya was roundly rejected by MPs in his bid to represent Kenya at the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) despite intense lobbying.

The Thursday loss has been attributed to Mr Magaya’s combative nature, sibling rivalry within Nasa and the history of MPs rallying behind one of their own.

6 HOURS

A majority of MPs the Nation spoke to cited Mr Magaya’s forceful way of conducting politics and coalition affairs for his loss.

Before the six-hour vote that went late into the night, Jubilee MPs told the Nation that they had rather vote for Raila Odinga’s elder brother Oburu than the young lawyer who has been the face of Nasa’s rebellion against President Kenyatta’s win.

Other factors that played against Mr Magaya was the fact that MPs rallied behind one of their own when push came to shove.

They have been known to close ranks on such issues as their own welfare even as they tear into each other on the campaign trail.

Seven of the nine nominees to the regional club sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, are former MPs.

Nasa MPs also saw Mr Magaya as a rank outsider in the party, having only recently joined ODM.

52 VOTES

Mr Magaya garnered 52 votes.

In comparison, former Mandera East MP Abdiaziz Ali Farah got 186 votes— mostly from Nasa.

The man pitted against Mr Ali, Mandera North MP Aden Nooru Mohammed, who was fronted by Jubilee, got 192 votes.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro blamed Mr Magaya’s fall on lack of unity within Nasa and their failure to strongly campaign and project his candidature.

“For this reason Jubilee did not take him seriously,” said Mr Nyoro.

Whether Mr Magaya was fronted by ODM or Amani National Congress, the dominant party of his western Kenya backyard, wasn’t clear. 

“Even Luhya MPs had a problem. We saw that. If he had got their support, ODM would already have won twice,” said an MP.

'BRIBES'

After it became clear that Mr Magaya had lost, Jubilee bloggers went into overdrive to celebrate their “win”.

There was intense campaign and lobbying ahead of the Thursday vote, with the race thrown wide open in Jubilee after President Uhuru Kenyatta refused to endorse any of the candidates.

Reports of money flying around were rife, with MPs setting up kitties to ensure their regions got the highest number of representatives from the two sides.

This money was channelled through the respective whips and a governor.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko literally camped in Parliament, only travelling to the Coast for the governors’ conference after ensuring his candidate, former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua, had secured overwhelming support.

Each of the five East African Community partner states has nine slots in the East African Legislative Assembly, which is the legislative arm of the community.