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Who will succeed Arati as Dagoretti North MP? – Weekly Citizen

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The announcement by Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati that he will vie for Kisii county governor’s seat in the 2022 general elections has opened the city parliamentary race wide open.Among those expected to go for the seat are former Nairobi county speaker Beatrice Elachi and businessman Bernard Shilibwa.Sources revealed that Elachi who in the 2017 general elections unsuccessfully contested for the seat on a Jubilee ticket and lost to Arati who defended the seat on ODM, is planning to join Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress which he will use to seek the seat in 2022. There is talk that it is Mudavadi who
brokered Elachi’s recent appointment as cabinet administrative secretary.The former county speaker will be seeking to dislodge Shilibwa from ANC, having been the party’s candidate in the 2017 elections and performing dismally. Further, Shilibwa is facing serious financial tribulations after being blacklisted by
state security agencies for using the disgraced president Uhuru Kenyatta nephew Jomo Gecega to arm-twist
various parastatal bosses and Asian tycoons to make money.Since Gecaga was removed from State House as president Uhuru’s private secretary, Shilibwa has found the going tough.

Simba Arati

Among Shilibwa targets were National Irrigation Authority now headed by Gitonga Mugambi, Bhadra Shah of Mombasa Cement and businessmen eyeing deals at irrigation authority.It is said of late, Shilibwa is rarely seen with Mudavadi who in 2017 elections was his blue-eyed boy. However, others say ODM leader is also grooming Elachi to take over from Arati. If it happens, then ANC will be forced to shop for another candidate mostly a Kisii one.Elachi, who is bilingual, being fluent in Kikuyu, Luhya and Kisii, and many other dialects, is hoping to win over the large Luhya vote in the constituency. Her mother is Kikuyu while her father is Luhya.The Luhya community has a large presence in Kawangware and if they back Elachi, she will have a headstart in the parliamentary race. Being fluent in Kikuyu and Kisii is another advantage for Elachi, as the two communities also have large presence.Arati who successfully defended the seat in the 2017 elections is from the Kisii community. Besides Elachi and Shilibwa, other aspirants, some of whom contested for the seat in the last elections but lost to Arati have also started laying the ground to capture the seat in the constituency with 147,214 registered voters as per 2017 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission register.

Beatrice Elachi

The constituency is likely to be split.Dagoretti North consists of four wards which are Kawangware with 25,885 registered voters, Gatina (31,039), Kileleshwa (24,916) and Kabiro (28,960).The MCAs are David Ayoi (Gatina), Elias Otieno (Kileleshwa), Fredrick Njoroge (Kawangware) and Clarence Munga (Kabiro). In the 2017 general elections, the parliamentary candidates vetted and cleared were Wilberforce Khalwale, Marwa Maseke,Jackson Mesoh, Ndungi Rugiri, Arati (ODM), Kipng’eno Koech, Caroline Lukalo, Elachi (Jubilee), Albert Ekodoi, Evans Simiyu Mulemati, Elphas Obulialia, Bernard Amos (ANC), Livingstone Obuga, Hoops Shihemi, Godhek Ogamba Onyancha and Baba Wandiri. But the final race narrowed down to a contest between Arati and Elachi who had won the ruling party’s nominations with a landslide.Elachi was then a nominated senator on TNA headed by Uhuru Kenyatta.Arati, who was defending his seat on ODM, polled over 48,349 votes against Elachi’s about 33, 425 votes.

Bernard Shilibwa

In the 2013 general election, Arati won with 43,000 votes against Simon Muigai of TNA who garnered 25,000 votes.Arati, who has been conducting quiet campaigns in Kisii, announced he would seek to replace Governor James Ongwae who is serving his second and final term.The MP has asked his opponents, Transport chief administrative secretary Chris Obure and Senator Sam Ongeri, both long-serving politicians, to pave way for generational change. Deputy governor Joash Maang’i, who is associated with William Ruto is also keen to succeed Ongwae.Speaking recently at a funeral, Obure declared that he will be in the race and should not be written off.He dismissed critics who say he is too old, stressing he is still “young and as fit as a fiddle”.MPs Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South) and Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba) have also declared interest in the Kisii county top seat.Others are Rachel Otundo, former South Mugirango MP Manson Oyongo and Lumumba Nyaberi.



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