If you put the many Nairobi gubernatorial candidates on a weighing balance to determine who fits the bill to be Nairobi governor, Miguna scoops the top position without a squabble. That’s if political leadership were to be given (or won) on merit. In various ways, Miguna comes out as the ideal.
Of the umpteenth gubernatorial candidates for Nairobi, he has a long and peerless history of political activism which dates back to former president Moi’s regime. As a young university student, he in cahoots with other likeminded patriots took to opposing the totalitarian tendencies of the then government.
That is not to say that the country owes him for his participation in the process of making Kenya a multiparty democracy. No, the country owes him nothing! But his courage and fidelity to ensuring a better and freer Kenya gives him an advantage over his pro-establishment rivals. If he fought fiercer battles in the past and won, he can easily decimate cartels.
For a man who served as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister at a time when the office was allegedly marred with corruption, it is noteworthy to recall that he was never even rumoured to have been corrupt. If it is considered that Miguna is not half as moneyed as the average Nairobi politician, perhaps one might have expected him to use the office to enrich himself. But he did not. That is a sure attestation that integrity— which is his principal agenda—is not only a mere abstract campaign theme but a practical virtue which he is capable of breathing into the politics of Kenya’s capital.
If “Peeling Back the Mask” is anything to go by, his role in ODM political activities before and after the 2007 general elections was not only diligent but also stellar. Miguna was very instrumental a servant in the Office of the Prime Minister. Him being the Senior Advisor on Constitutional and Legal Affairs as well as the Joint Secretary to the Committee on Grand Coalition Affairs —the fulcrum from which the coalition government derived its impetus.
Were it not for him, there is no telling the extent to which Kibaki and his inner circle might have bullied Raila. Miguna was the unseen bold force defending Raila against the domineering fangs of Kibaki. It was his effective legal and constitutional advisory role that lent the Office of the Prime Minister the valour without which Raila might have whined even more.
You wonder how that is relevant to his being governor? Well, Miguna is the quintessential organized workaholic who abhors lethargy, mediocrity and scapegoating. The hurried manner in which the Nusu Mkate government was conceived left room for untold confusion so that it was not clear what “power sharing” meant, how and if it would work harmoniously.
It took Miguna’s leadership (together with others of course) to instil order when the two Big Boys were each driven by the urge to outmanoeuvre the other even to the point of leading the country into anarchy and disorder. Most of the problems bedevilling the county of Nairobi spring from disorganisation and sheer disregard to the rule of law— which Miguna can and will easily fix.
Though one might say that anyone can put promises on paper and call it a manifesto, Miguna is the only Nairobi gubernatorial candidate who has published a solid and all-encompassing manifesto and vision. And since he has said that his word is his bond—and been tested on it—residents of Nairobi can rest assured that they are home and dry with Miguna as governor.
Miguna’s in-depth understanding of how best to manage a complex metropolis like Nairobi is yet another plus for him. Through television interviews, newspaper articles and public campaigns he has effortlessly outlined what seem to be workable solutions to some of the problems in Nairobi. On waste management, for example (which Kidero has scored dismally in), he has not only said he will introduce a modern solid waste management system. He has also shown on a logical, step-by-step basis how he intends to do it.
Strictly speaking, Miguna—and perhaps Godfrey Wanyoike—is the only independent candidate. Peter Kenneth, for instance, is, by all indications, a “defector” who still owes allegiance to the Jubilee party Supremo and, of course, to his ethnic Kikuyu political class. The “partied candidates” will no doubt be first answerable to their party leaders and not to the people. Miguna, on his part, has signed no such contracts. He has offered his candidature on his own capacity and sponsorship. His goal will be to deliver to the people of Nairobi, undeterred by party politics.