18 November 2012

Kenya: Wanjiru to Vie for Governor, Won't Leave ODM

Nairobi — Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru has defied all odds and declared that she is sticking with PM Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

The lawmaker said on Sunday while presiding over a church service at the Jesus is Alive Ministries that she will vie for the governorship of Nairobi on an ODM ticket.

She insisted that the she had reached the "informed decision after consulting widely, both politically and spiritually."

"I have prayed and very widely consulted and therefore brethren, I am now making it official that I will be vying for the Nairobi governor's position. And, this will be on an ODM ticket," declared Wanjiru amid wild cheers from the congregation.

There had been wide speculation that she would decamp from the party possibly for The National Alliance led by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Wanjiru who made the announcement in the presence of her rival, Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia and one-time Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo, affirmed that she provides the solution to the unique challenges the country's capital faces.

"At a later date I will be outlining my agenda and vision for Nairobi County which will address the many challenges Nairobi faces and the solutions that my leadership will offer. Nairobi's problems are very unique and will only be solved by a hands-on approach. It is time to fold back our sleeves and get work done," she asserted promising a stylish launch of her bid.

The ODM ticket has attracted interest from Kisia and former Mumias CEO Evans Kidero.

Bishop Wanjiru who kept referring to the biblical David (who killed Goliath) in her sermon exuded confidence that she will emerge winner in a race dominated by male competitors.

"It does not matter how the champion looks like... God is on our side," she proclaimed adding that: "Where we are going is greater than where we are coming from."

Outside ODM, the seat has also attracted interest from Nairobi Central Business District Association chairman Timothy Muriuki, Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu and businessman Jimnah Mbaru.

Wanjiru's stay in ODM has been uncertain following her failure to clinch the chairmanship of ODM Nairobi County in last year's party elections, a post which was won by current Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa.

Bishop Wanjiru had led a walk-out by delegates from her Starehe constituency terming the poll a sham and accused her competitors of using people who were not genuine party delegates to win the election.

Wanjiru and Aladwa however buried the hatchet at a meeting chaired by the party National Chairman Henry Kosgey.

The MP was re-elected in a 2010 by-election after her first election as MP election (in 2007) was nullified by the High Court.

The petition had been filed by former area MP Maina Kamanda who had argued that he defeated Wanjiru in the 2007 general Election.

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