The ruling Jubilee Party has been dealt a blow in Nairobi after at least 18 MCAs defected to Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA.
They include nominated MCAs Joyce Muthoni, Susan Makungu, Ann Thumbi, Leah Ntimama and Silvyia Museiya
Among the elected to ditch the ruling party are Pangani MCA Peter Wahinya, Antony Kiragu (Waithaka), Mark Mugambi (Umoja 1), Waithera Chege (South B), Chege Mwaura (Ngara), Maina Njoka (Kariobangi North), Elijah Mbuthia (Njiru) and Pius Mbono (Zimmerman).
The others include Kasarani MCA Antony Ngaruiya, Geoffrey Nganga (Mwiki), Paul Ndung’u (Pumwani), James Kiriba (Riruta) and Kawangware MCA Fredrick Njogu.
The MCAs are said to have paid the nominations fees for the different positions they are seeking come the August 9, 2022 polls.
Male aspirants for the MCA position on UDA ticket pay a nomination fee of Sh50,000 while the youth and female candidates remit half the amount.
Aspirants seeking the position of MP are required to part with Sh250,000 for male candidates and Sh125,000 for female aspirants and the youth.
Umoja One ward representative Mark Mugambi commended his colleagues for the switch, stating that they made the right choice.
“Some of us have been with the DP from day one and have been in UDA since it was launched. But now the Nairobi camp has grown and we are much stronger,” he said.
Mugambi is seeking a second term.
Waithaka MCA Kiragu said he quit after consultations with his voters.
He explained that the defection is based on the ideology of the UDA party and the aspirations he has for Waithaka people.
“l have moved to the UDA party because of the ideology that we share with Ruto, coupled with the demands of the voters,” Kiragu said.
As a second term MCA, Kiragu stated that he was confident of getting a third term due to his development track record.
He expressed confidence that DP Ruto will win the next elections.
Earlier this week, more than 40 MCAs from Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties also defected to UDA.
Nairobi remains a crucial swing-vote region where all presidential candidates’ rallies are concluded.
All political formations often hold their last rallies in the capital.
With less than five months to the general election, top presidential candidates are angling for a chunk of the city’s over two million votes.
Top presidential contenders are seeking allies to win the crucial vote block.
DP Ruto’s alliance with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi is seen as a strategy to win over the Luhya vote basket in Nairobi.
ODM’s Raila Odinga has traditionally won the presidential votes in the capital and he will be hoping to better that score when Kenyans cast their ballot on August 9.
In the 2017 presidential election results, Opposition chief Raila garnered 828,826 votes against the ruling Jubilee’s candidate President Uhuru Kenyatta who got 791,291 votes.
The total number of votes stood at 2,251,929 in 2017. That is expected to increase when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission adds to its roll, newly registered voters.
In the 2013 election, Raila defeated Uhuru after winning 49 per cent of the city’s votes against 46.75 for the President.
It is worth noting that both Uhuru and Raila are going into the 2022 election as a team with the President backing the candidature of the ODM leader as his successor.
That combination is likely to complicate Ruto’s arithmetic in winning seats in the capital.
Nairobi has 17 constituencies with 85 electoral wards with 121 MCAS.
In the 2017 general election, Uhuru’s Jubilee party won nine of the 17 MP seats with Raila’s ODM winning seven.
Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party won one MP’s seat. Jubilee clinched the seat of a senator while ODM won that of the Woman Representative.
In terms of wards, it was almost even with Jubilee winning 43 MCA seats against ODM’s 41. One candidate was elected as an independent.