I have been following Mathare Constituency politics for a while now, and I’ve decided to share something about it.
The constituency, which was formerly part of Starehe constituency, has six wards four of which are manned by ODM. The four wards include Huruma, Ngei, Mabatini and Hospital. The other two wards are the intensely populated Mlango Kubwa and the relatively small Kiamaikor wards. These two wards are under TNA, or to be straight Kikuyu MCAs.
I know some people will be quick to judge me for calling communities by names, but for the sake of clarity and disambiguation, you must allow me to talk communities today.
The current Mathare MP Steven Kariuki, k1 or Roho Juu as some people call him, won the seat in 2013 elections, but Wanjohi was declared the winner under unclear circumstances. Wanjohi’s stint would later come to an abrupt end after litigation by Kariuki. However, they had to square it for a second time in a by-election.
The vast majority of ODM supporters never wanted K1, the reason being he is a Kikuyu and voting him would only help Jubilee. However, our party leader Raila Odinga reigned upon them to help K1 clinch this seat.
No sooner had he been sworn in as MP than his mother, the former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, defected to Jubilee. You would then say that her mother’s decision had nothing to do with him and ODM liberals like me were willing to give him a shadow of a doubt. But it has now become very clear that this man is a traitor, just like his kinsmen.
With K1 gone, who can effectively replace him? Already people are expressing interests in seats they would like to vie for come 2017, but little activity has been seen in Mathare, save for my friend the TNA Youth League chairperson Arnold Maliba, and the OKOA Kenya lawyer Antony Oluoch.
Yes, Antony Oluoch is loyal and has been attending all our rallies, but does that makes him the best candidate? The dude is mean, has no strategy and has not even assembled a campaign team.
In my opinion, the Mathare seat should be reserved for the Luhya community. This move would help solidify Raila’s grip on the Luhya vote as we aim our last short. Now that K1 has joined Jubilee, perhaps it is a high time we also poach from them. Arnold Maliba would be a good catch. He is young, energetic and experienced to say the least. What’s more, he knows Mathare and understands it, and harbours ambition to lead it as far as his recent foray into this area is concerned.
Now allow me to indulge my friend Arnold Maliba. My friend, pragmatic as you maybe I have a feeling you need advice. Your inroads in Mathare are well documented and until recently I didn’t have qualms about your place and chance seeing that you stood on the Jubilee side of affairs. At this moment, the current MP and his mother have decided to cross over to Jubilee, yet in case you make true your intentions to vie, K1 will be your biggest challenge in Mathare, never mind that you are a locally bred boy. When your political party decides to support your opponent, you have no obligation to support it. You have learnt your lesson; they cannot support anyone other than their own. So as a brother, ditch the Jubilee gravy train, it doesn’t have your interests. Talk to Benson Musungu, Abok Garang, Mabatini community chairperson Mr. Wesonga, the newly elected ODM officials and others to receive you back to CORD, where naturally you make more sense and inspire hope. Just my thoughts bro.