It is the end of the road for dozens of senior politicians who have had to throw in the towel after losing in the just-concluded nominations.
They have resigned to fate, dumping their interest in elective positions and have now laid their hopes in the coalition they are informing the next government so they could be incorporated into the new administration.
With the window for going independently closed, they are opting for political cold at least for the next five years although some are eyeing nomination seats in either House. There are also seats at the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) that have become a fall-back option for political rejects.
Azimio-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza’s Deputy President William Ruto, now have the difficult duty of keeping them within their coalitions although some have been promised key roles if they form the next government.
Former Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has been forced to abandon her quest to become Nyandarua governor despite a spirited campaign to dislodge incumbent Francis Kimemia.
Kariuki was one of the four CSs who quit in February to seek elective positions and up to the beginning of last week, she was being considered for the Jubilee Party ticket only to be prevailed upon to step down for Kimemia.
Although she claimed she was the most popular candidate, she revealed she had surrendered her ambitions for the sake of the county’s unity.
“After deep self-reflection, soul searching, several consultations…I suspended my candidature for the governor of Nyandarua. I appreciate the disappointment of the people of my county who have invested their hopes and aspirations in my candidature. This decision is for the good of our great county, for the unity of the people of Nyandarua, the unity of the community and the nation at large,” she said.
Her former cabinet colleague Charles Keter is also banking on Ruto forming the next government to be considered for some role after he was trounced in the UDA nominations for Kericho governorship by a political greenhorn, Dr Erick Mutai. Keter, who served in the Energy and Devolution dockets, before he went back to contest, suffered his first defeat since joining politics in 2002.
Many others are also licking their wounds after turbulent primaries that saw unlikely aspirants defeated.
Bonchari MP Pavel Oimeke is also set to join the list of lawmakers who have served the shortest time in the National Assembly after he was denied the ODM ticket. He was elected last year May in a by-election after the death of Oroo Oyioka.
“After further consultations with family, friends and my supporters, I have decided I will not be defending my seat in the August 9 General Election,” he said on Wednesday.
Two weeks ago, the MP, who is the only elected ODM in Gusii region, accused the party of shoving him aside in favour of one of his challengers Jonah Onkendi, who was offered a direct ticket.
“Sad day for the people of Abanchari and the Gusii nation at large. Today we’ve witnessed democracy on trial yet again as the ODM party denied me, the people’s choice, the ODM ticket to defend my seat,” he said.
In Nairobi, senior politicians are counting losses after they were prevailed upon to step down for preferred competitors who were awarded direct tickets to run for various seats.
Businessman Richard Ngatia will have to be content with a presidential trade envoy post after he was asked to step down for corporate luminary Polycarp Igathe in the race for Nairobi governor’s seat. Ngatia had lodged a strong case for the coveted seat but became one of the casualties in a deal struck by Azimio partners. Igathe of Jubilee Party will be deputised by Philip Kaloki fronted by Wiper whilst ODM will field Edwin Sifuna for Senate and Esther Passaris for woman representative. The three parties are key members of the Azimio coalition that brings together over 20 others.
From this deal, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda also suffered as he has been forced to forgo his ambitions of becoming the city’s next senator and hope he will be considered for a post if Azimio forms the next government. It is the same for Nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka who had been touted for the woman representative seat but was asked to step down for Passaris.
Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi was also asked to defend his seat despite being a strong contender for the governorship.
In Mombasa, Suleiman Shahbal has been co-opted into Raila’s national campaign team after dropping his interest in Mombasa governor’s seat following a truce brokered by the ODM leader that saw Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir picked instead. Shabhal, who sources say has been promised a Trade Cabinet post if Azimio wins, accompanied Raila during his recent tour of the US.
“Kenyan in the diaspora need better opportunities that are properly structured, that are safe, that give good returns, right now we are not getting them. We need to amend the tax laws to make it easier for them to invest back home,” said Shabhal, when Raila’s team met Kenyans living in the Diaspora in Washington DC.
ODM chairman John Mbadi also bowed out of the Homa Bay governor’s race after Raila struck a deal to allow county woman representative Gladys Wanga to vie for the seat.
Former Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett also lost in his quest to be Elgeyo-Marakwet governor. He was defeated by Wesley Rotich, the incumbent deputy governor. Yesterday, Ruto hosted him and other losers from the county and urged them to support the winners.
Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima has also dropped out of political contests after he was shoved out of ODM and DAP-K primaries for the county’s governorship. He has thrown his support behind ANC candidate Cleophas Malala.
Bomet Woman Representative Joyce Korir who was captured on video sobbing over alleged shambolic UDA nominations in Bomet has thrown in her towel and promised to support the party, the same for her Kericho counterpart Florence Bore, Laikipia Cate Waruguru who lost in the nominations. Their counterpart Sabina Chege has also stepped away from elective races as she focuses on Azimio’s national campaigns.
“As I move to the next level of leadership, I will build the momentum from here, I will serve with all the zeal and determination,” said Chege.
Prof Peter Kagwanja will also have to wait for another five years to try after he was ousted from the Murang’a senatorial race by Jubilee. The ticket was handed to former Senator Kembi Gitura.
Former Interior Permanent Secretary Zakayo Cheruiyot lost in his attempt to recapture the Kuresoi South MP seat, Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura suffered the same fate in Ruiru, the same with former Governor Ferdinand Waititu in Kiambu. Kisumu Senator Fred Outa has also retired from politics, with nominated MP David Sankok joining him.
Others who would have to find something else to do are former ambassadors Sarah Serem and Julius Bitok who lost in their quest to become Uasin Gishu governor.