Recounting Sonko, Kenneth bitter match to Jubilee primaries
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and his fiercest political rival for the Nairobi gubernatorial Jubilee Party ticket, Peter Kenneth, have, in more than one occasion, traded barbs with either party accusing the other of being unfit to run the affairs of the capital, Nairobi.
In March, 2017, Peter Kenneth dismissed the candidature of Sonko, describing the flamboyant Senator as a ‘hooligan of politics’, who does not deserve a chance to be elected Nairobi County governor.
Kenneth said even though they, in the Jubilee camp, were seeking to unseat incumbent Governor Evans Kidero, they (Kenneth and Sonko) were not in the same league of competition.
“We are different. I offer leadership, he offers hooliganism; I offer a way forward, what he offers is cheerleading to groups of gangs and encouraging gangs,” Kenneth told National Muslims’ Leaders’ Forum at a city hotel last month.
In yet another address, Kenneth had said Sonko is a leader who relies on hooligans to scare away his would-be competitors, making reference to late February, 2017 chaos in Dagoretti, where the Senator allegedly disrupted an ongoing football match.
Kenneth, a former Gatanga MP, would later downplay the incident, saying people should stop considering political differences between him and Sonko as internal conflict in Jubilee Party.
Governor Kidero had ordered Sonko and Kenneth be investigated following the Dagoretti incident.
“I do not consider sibling rivalry an internal strife. I offered my candidature, and I think it is very clear amongst us in Jubilee, which candidate offers the best solution and that is the candidate for Jubilee in Nairobi,” said Kenneth, promising his opponents in the Jubilee Party a bruising battle in the party primaries.
Kenneth noted that his only challenger in the August 8 polls is the incumbent Governor, Evans Kidero, whom he accused of mismanaging the city.
Kenneth said Kidero is a perfect example of a leader who should not be elected Nairobi governor.
“Nairobi voters need to redeem themselves from a failed leadership,” he said.
In October last year, Sonko welcomed Peter Kenneth’s candidature for Nairobi Governor, and even said he (Sonko) hoped that the former presidential candidate would join Jubilee Party.
In a statement to newsrooms, the Senator – who had expressed interest in the Nairobi Gubernatorial seat – said he hopes Kenya National Congress leader will join Jubilee Party.
“I wish to welcome the entry of former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth in the race for the Nairobi Governor’s seat which has attracted a high number of aspirants in Jubilee Party. I hope Kenneth will join our party and support the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in 2017,” Sonko’s statement read.
Sonko, Kenneth feud led to postponement of party primaries
The feud between Mike Sonko and Peter Kenneth and failure to reach a consensus, were reported as the key contributors toward the three-time postponement of Jubilee Party primaries in Nairobi County.
The drive was initially planned for Friday, April 21, but was pushed to Monday, April 24; then Tuesday, April 25, before being pushed to Wednesday, April 26.
Several political analysts have speculated that the political rivalry between Sonko and Kenneth will likely cost Jubilee Party Nairobi governor seat.
Speaking on Citizen TV on Sunday night (April 23), Kenneth denied reports he was going to step down for Sonko.
Kenneth also dismissed reports the party leadership was holding talks to broker a deal between them and avoid nominations.
“Talks that I have been offered a CS position to step down for Sonko are untrue,” Kenneth said.
Sonko had said his feud with Kenneth was personal and ruled out even being his running mate. “I am not going to accept Kenneth as my running mate or to be his deputy,” he said.