A number of Nairobi County Ward Representatives will not defend their seats in the August 8 General Election, but have instead set their sights on higher elective positions.
They include Kware ward rep Ken Ngondi, Alex Ouda Otieno (Mugumoini), Samuel Kagiri (Pipeline) and Margaret Sewe (nominated), who are all eying various parliamentary seats across the country.
Others are Ms Beatrice Kwamboka (Mountain View) and Wangui Ng`anga (Nominated), who will battle it out with other aspirants for the Nairobi Woman Rep seat.
Also in the list is Speaker Alex ole Magelo, who is seeking to dethrone Mr Moses ole Sakuda from the Kajiado West parliamentary seat.
They will however first have to fight it out in the primaries to get Jubilee Party nod to fly its flag.
In an interview with the Nation, Mr Magelo says his decision to ditch Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was because the party was ‘unpopular in Kajiado West’.
“I am grateful that Cord gave me a chance to serve as the first Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly. However, the political dynamics cannot allow me to vie for the seat using a party that is not Jubilee,” he says.
During the 2013 General Election, he unsuccessfully contested the same seat on a National Vision Party of Kenya that is closely associated with former powerful cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott.
Mr Magelo now hopes he has made the right decision by jumping ship while exuding confidence he will emerge victorious.
“The current MP has failed to bring about the much-needed development in our area. I will strive to change this once I am elected,” he said.
“Top on my agenda will be provision of water. I will drill several boreholes in the region using the Constituency Development Fund. This will stop women and children from walking for miles in search of water,” he adds.
He also promises to provide more bursary opportunities to school children.
“I will also scale up my pet subject of distributing textbooks to schools. I have been doing this for a very long time despite the fact that I am not an elected leader.”
HIGH AND MIGHTY
He has also pledged to end land cartels and speculators who have being “grabbing land belonging to the Maasai with impunity”.
Mr Magelo only hopes that the primaries will be free and fair.
Mr Ngondi, on the other hand, wants the Embakasi South seat currently being held by Mr Irshard Sumra.
Defending his ward seat would be a ‘demotion of sorts’ having served as the County Assembly’s Deputy Speaker, he says.
“As an MP, I am closer to power than a Ward Rep. If elected, I will be rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty. It will therefore be easier for me to negotiate and bring about development for my people,” he argues.
The aspirant accused Mr Sumra of not doing much to improve the livelihood of his constituents.
“The infrastructure in Embakasi South is wanting. The roads, for instance, are in a poor state and residents lack essential amenities,” he adds.
The Deputy Speaker hopes that some of the projects he initiated in his ward, like high mast street lights – popularly known as ‘Mulika Mwizi’- as well as the rehabilitation of Kimondo road, would convince the electorate of what he can achieve if elected to parliament.
Pipeline MCA Samuel Kagiri, 35, on his part, has thrown his hat into the ring and will battle it out with six other aspirants – including incumbent Stephen Mburu – for the Kinangop parliamentary seat.
The soft spoken leader, who has only served one term at City Hall, is banking on the support of the youth in the constituency to ride to Parliament.
Mr Kagiri says he initially thought of vying for the Embakasi South Parliamentary seat but changed his mind “as it is an opposition stronghold”.
Mr Ouda of Mugumoini Ward is eying the Lang’ata MP’s seat currently held by Mr Joash Olum.