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Governor race: Why Abdikadir Mohamed thinks he’s Nairobi’s best bet

The Harvard-trained lawyer becomes latest hopeful in the already crowded race.


Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

IN SUMMARY

  • The former Mandera Central MP chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution (PSC) that scrutinised the 2010 Constitution.
  • Mr Mohamed, however, believes he is the city’s best bet, saying the people should be allowed to make their choice at the ballot. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ex-constitutional advisor, Abdikadir Mohamed, has become the latest hopeful in the already crowded race to replace impeached Nairobi governor Mike Sonko.

Mr Mohamed, who also served as Mandera Central MP between 2007 and 2013, chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution (PSC) that scrutinised the 2010 Constitution as proposed by the Nzamba Kitonga-led Committee of Experts.

The Harvard-trained lawyer, who was last month admitted to the enviable Senior Counsel club, says he is the best choice for Nairobi.

“Nairobi and her honest and  hardworking people deserve  better. Not the third rate leadership it has had; not the stop gap measures currently in place; and certainly not the unconstitutional manoeuvers apparently in  contemplation,” Mr Mohamed told the Nation in an interview.

Mr Mohamed has described the vetting of Anne Kananu Mwenda by the Nairobi Assembly as unconstitutional. 

The High Court had stopped her vetting, but on Friday threw out cases challenging the nomination of Ms Mwenda as deputy governor. 

Mr Polycarp Igathe resigned from the post in 2018, and Sonko had not made a replacement since then after Ms Mwenda’s vetting was stopped by the court.

Mr Mohamed, however, believes he is the city’s best bet, saying the people should be allowed to make their choice at the ballot. 

Best man for the job

“As the capital city of Kenya and the seat of the United Nations Office, Nairobi must set the best example for the rest of Kenya and letting it go to third-rate leaders or throwing our hands in the air that we cannot do it is a dereliction of duty at the leadership level,” Mr Mohamed said. 

Mr Mohamed, who was named President Kenyatta’s advisor in 2014, a task he served until 2017, reckons he is the best man for the job.

He said he will announce his party of choice “in the next few days.”

He, however, insists that he will not vie on President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga or Deputy President William Ruto’s parties. 

“It will not be Jubilee, ODM, or Ruto’s UDA (United Democratic Alliance). None of those. We will make our announcement soon,” Mr Abdikadir said.

Mr Abdikadir’s entry into the race joins the list of contenders that includes UDA’s Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Building Bridges Initiative co-chair Dennis Waweru, Kanu’s Betty Adera and lawyer Miguna Miguna.

The electoral commission has also cleared 13 independent candidates for the Nairobi governor seat, most of them political novices. These are Raymond Ndung’u, Njau Luingi, Evans Machoka, David Lingala, Jimal Ibrahim and former National Assembly speaker candidate Dr Noah Winja.

Others are Alloys Otieno, Mathenge Mukundi, Yassin Munyanya, Timothy Olong’o, Phyllis Wangari and Augustine Kavindu.

The five from the Jubilee Coalition are Dennis Waweru, Anne Kagure, Betty Adhiambo, Alex Kipchirchir and Omar Kongo.

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