Agnes Kagure’s formal entry in the Nairobi gubernatorial race has been described as a game changer in the city’s politics away from the theatrics that characterized its leadership in the past two elections since devolution began.
Agnes launched her bid on Friday January7 in a colorful ceremony at the Kasarani Sports Complex’s indoor gymnasium that saw hundreds of her city supporters throng the venue to listen to her development agenda.
Kagure told her supporters drawn from Nairobi’s 85 wards that she is ready now to start campaigns for the seat for the August 9 General Election.
Though she did not reveal the party she is intending to use in the coming elections Kagure appears to lean towards the Azimio coalition hoping to reap from the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The dynamics of the city politics have taken a new twist since the famous March 2018 handshake between the two leaders.
Political observers say whoever will win the hearts of the two leaders will easily bag the coveted seat which was won by Evans Kidero in 2013 and Mike Sonko in 2017.
The businesswoman has endeared herself to various groups including the youth and women who have pledged to take her campaign message to every corner of the city.
On Friday Agnes in a clarion call dubbed ‘Moving Nairobi from a city of congestion to a city of Jubilation’ urged Nairobi residents to give her the opportunity to serve them as governor.
“This is not going to be my government but our government since I am prepared to listen to everybody on the best ways of restoring the city back to its lost glory,” she said.
Agnes said she offers fresh leadership that will revolutionize the county which she decried has over the years suffered the consequences of failed leadership at the expense of service delivery.
Agnes, who has been holding consultative meetings across the city, promised to enhance service delivery, ensure a clean environment, and create a conducive and friendly business environment that will attract both local and foreign investors.
The launch was attended by former MP Mburi Apuri who stoked controversy when he said he had been sent by ODM leader Raila Odinga. He said Raila had endorsed Kagure for the seat and urged Nairobians to erect her in August 2022.Several incumbent and aspiring MCAs who urged Nairobians to vote for Agnes in the upcoming polls.
Kagure said her partnership with the people of Nairobi was based on recognising everyone’s important position as a city dweller. “I am a person who understands city life very well having been born and brought up in a family that endured the harsh realities of poverty. That is why am prepared to sacrifice all I can to uplift the lives of those living in informal settlements as I know where the shoe pinches,” Kagure told her jubilant supporters.
She added that the interactions she has had in the past with city residents in every single ward and estate she has visited has given her the energy and resolve to champion their needs once given the opportunity to serve them as Nairobi governor.
As early as 8 am her supporters drawn from 85 wards started arriving in various outfits emblazoned with her imagesIn his signature yellow suit and maroon snicker shoes, Embarambamba ran around the stadium singing his Bend This Way song as people cheered him on.
Kisii gospel musician Chris Embarambamba dazzled the supporters who had filled the gymnasium with his wild dance moves while entertaining guests during the launch.
The musician could be seen jumping around in the podium meant for artistes and at one point left the stage and ran towards where attendees were sitting. He jumped on the edges of their front sits while performing and then jumped on the next front row leaving people with mouths wide open.
Today`s launch comes barely months after the businesswoman had declared her interest in the seat.
Agnes will now join Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi and former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who have declared interest to succeed Governor Ann Kananu in this year`s 2022 August general elections.
Kagure’s launch comes hot on the heels of the Thursday January 6 opinion poll conducted by the Centre for African Progress (CAP) that ranked her the favorite of the other hopefuls in the city’s top job
CAP is on record for having correctly predicted the 2017 presidential elections, whereby they gave Uhuru 53% and Raila 42%, only 8 days to the election.
The same company also predicted Sonko’s gubernatorial victory as early as June 2016, a year before the election.
In the latest poll, Kagure boasts of 27% in an “all-run” scenario, meaning that she can easily beat all the other contenders in the absence of party nominations, thus becoming Nairobi’s chief executive.
In the latest poll, Kagure boasts of 27% in an “all-run” scenario, meaning that she can easily beat all the other contenders in the absence of party nominations, thus becoming Nairobi’s chief executive. In second place is Margaret Wanjiru with 22%, while former Dagoretti South Member of Parliament follows with 18%.
The pollster in its findings said Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, who has aggressively pursued the ODM nomination, has 10%, while the latest entrant into the fray, Nairobi businessman Richard Ngatia has 6%. An advisor in the Ministry of Defense who is aggressively mobilising young people to back his bid, Fwamba NC Fwamba, has 4%.