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City ODM MP announces bid to unseat Sonko in 2022

Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi has announced his candidature for Nairobi governorship in the 2022 general election.

Mr Wanyonyi is already dreaming big on how he will transform the city while at the helm.

He foresees a capital city that generates revenues way higher than what it collects at the moment. He dreams of a Nairobi with advanced road networks, re-worked water distribution channels, proper sewer lines and working systems.

“One of my biggest fans is the (former) Prime Minister (Raila Odinga) himself. He has not once but twice spoken about it in public, not even in private,” the ODM lawmaker told Nairobi News.

One of the endorsements happened in December 2018 as Mr Odinga attended a football match at the Kabete Technical Training Institute.

“I want to say our next Nairobi Governor is Tim. He is doing a good job, and deserves the ODM ticket in 2022,” said Mr Odinga.

Mr Wanyonyi said the endorsement by Mr Odinga gives him the encouragement but he knows he has to put in the work.

PARTY LEADER

“Politics being politics, you don’t sit around and rejoice that the party leader has proposed you. You must go out there and show people that you’re actually popular; that you can win this thing,” he said.

Representing Westlands constituency in Parliament for the second term in a row, Mr Wanyonyi believes his experience as MP, in addition to what he learnt while serving as a nominated councillor of the defunct City Council of Nairobi between 2007 and 2012, is enough pre-qualification for the governorship seat.

“I believe that Nairobi has been short-changed. I don’t think most of the people who have been elected in the offices in City Hall understand the magnitude of work that is ahead of them,” he said.

“I also believe that Nairobi has been short-changed in the allocation of revenue in terms of devolution. It is just grouped together with other counties. I believe Nairobi should be special,” added Mr Wanyonyi, a brother of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

Tim Wanyonyi. PHOTO | FILE

He vouches for the running of Nairobi like a corporate, saying the same case happens with London, UK and Mumbai, India.

He also thinks the past city regimes have not done enough to enhance the appeal of public transport, which he believes has the potential of decongesting the city by discouraging the use of personal cars to workplaces.

Those are some of the areas he plans to shake up should he be given a nod by voters in the next General Election.

His probable opponent will be Mike Sonko, the incumbent who has appealed to sections of the city for what he has done in his two-year stint at City Hall.

POSITION OF INFLUENCE

“Normally, in any regime, you don’t underestimate the capacity of the incumbent because he is sitting in a position of influence and also he has resources at his disposal,” he said. “You don’t come in underestimating his capacity to outwit you. You come in by knowing very well that you must be smarter and you must work extra harder than him. You need to beat him; you must be twice stronger.”

So, has he begun his governorship campaigns? He said yes, but added the word “quietly”.

“I don’t want to antagonise some people, especially the sitting governor who seems to enjoy the monopoly of unleashing terror,” he said. “With such a fellow, you don’t play into his hands by showing him that you want his job. Let him just keep on hearing (about me). He has never seen me challenge him.”

He noted that he would like to carry out his MP duties until the last day.

“Even if I have to campaign in Nairobi, I must remain the Westlands MP for the five years I have been given. That is my understanding because I don’t want an absentee MP,” he said, providing examples of MPs who were so keen on becoming governors that they lost the favour of their constituency electorate.

Mr Wanyonyi, a lawyer, was left with an irreversible spine injury after an encounter with carjackers in 1998. That confined him to a wheelchair but he refuses to be dwarfed by the reduced elevation.

“I believe I can translate what I have done in Westlands to City Hall. And I can change the way we do things and do them differently and deliver to the people of Nairobi; to give self-explanatory results,” he said.