Inside Politics

New twist as Azimio picks Polycarp Igathe for Nairobi governor seat

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 23:31 | By
Polycarp Igathe. PHOTO/Courtesy
Polycarp Igathe. PHOTO/Polycarp Igathe/Facebook

Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition has picked corporate guru Polycarp Igathe as its Nairobi governor candidate to battle it out with Senator Johnson Sakaja of United Democratic Alliance.

The move shatters hopes of former Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Richard Ngatia who had until two weeks ago was a shoo-in in the race.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party has maintained that it must produce the governor candidate, according to highly placed sources at the party's headquarters who told K24 Digital that, after thorough deliberations and consideration, the party agreed to drop Ngatia who has been engaging in aggressive campaigns and officially launched his bid last week.

"All I can tell you, for now, is that Igathe (Polycarp) is the Azimio candidate," the source said, adding that official communication regarding the city governor seat candidature will be released later by the Azimio team.

This comes barely a month after a Jubilee member wrote a petition to the party asking it not to allow the businessman to participate in the nominations on grounds that he doesn't have the needed academic papers.

George Mwanzia Mutheu, who claimed to be a member of the ruling party, maintains that the billionaire, who is eying the Jubilee Party ticket, does not have a legitimate degree certificate which is a mandatory requirement for governors.

"Article 193 of the Constitution, as read together with Section 22 (c) of the Elections Act, No 24 of 2011, places mandatory conditions for candidates of the governor and deputy Governor to hold a degree from a university recognised by Kenya.

"That our client verily believes that the said Richard Ngatia does not meet the educational qualifications stipulated in the law. Richard Ngatia does not hold a degree from a university recognized in Kenya. Therefore, he should not be allowed to participate in the Jubilee Party nominations exercise for Nairobi City County gubernatorial position," part of Mwanzia's petition read.

Ngatia is yet to come out to talk about the petition.

Igathe, who had a short stint at City Hall as former Governor Mike Sonko's deputy before resigning after a fallout, resigned from his position as Chief Operations Officer at Equity Bank to pursue political ambitions, a move that had the blessings of Uhuru.

This brings to an end the jostling that has been ongoing in the city pitting incumbent Anne Kananu and controversial businesswoman Agnes Kagure and Ngatia who were eying the Jubilee ticket as well as Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi who was eying the Azimio ticket through the Orange Democratic Movement party of Raila Odinga.

On Tuesday, Wanyonyi appeared to suppress his bullish approach in favour of his candidature, saying the Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya coalition would agree on who would fly the ticket.

Both Jubilee and ODM which are the main pro-Azimio parties in Nairobi, according to sources are planning to field joint candidates, particularly for the governor, senator and Woman Rep to avert sibling rivalry that could give UDA an advantage in the race.

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