The battle for the Nairobi gubernatorial Azimio La Umoja ticket played out quite strategically in the Jubilee Party National Delegates Conference where both President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader were present.
Richard Ngatia who is the president of the Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry together with governor Ann Kananu and business woman Agnes Kagure were present at the event but it is Ngatia who appeared to have pulled the right strings, triggering speculations that he could be the preferred Azimio La Umoja candidate for Nairobi.
Ngatia was among the lead officials who lined up to welcome president Uhuru at the colourful event and was pictured in more jovial and suggestive engagements with outgoing Jubilee party secretary Raphael Tuju and the Vice Chairman David Murathe.
In his speech, Tuju said that Jubilee remains strong and vibrant and that it will be going for every available seat including Nairobi.
“We have come along way as a party and today we begin another journey that will take us to another level.We are going to compete and our battle starts here in Nairobi,”
During the NDC,Ngatia sat at the front row among top party officials, governors and invited party leaders.
Interestingly,the presence of governor Ann Kananu went unnoticed by both President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga despite her sitting close to Mombasa governor Hassan Joho.
Kananu’s early efforts to paint the event in her campaign colors hit a brick wall; she had lined up a number of cars dotted in Jubilee colors and her campaign slogans but the plan didn’t manage to find its way to the KICC grounds.
For Agnes Kagure,she remained sitted at the middle of the pack, struggling to gain attention throughout the session. Kagure has however focused her energy on ward based mobilisation and has recently party affiliation in her campaign.
In Kasarani,another of Ngatia’s opponent Tim Wanyonyi was present during the ODM NDC. Wanyonyi is the only ODM candidate who has declared interest in the seat.
Political observers have labeled the contest for Nairobi as a battle between Ngatia and Wanyonyi with both enjoying massive support from their respective parties.
However,it is highly believed that Ngatia could be the preferred candidate and that negotiations on how to settle the Nairobi contest are ongoing