Kenya’s capital city set up in 1890’s as a railway depot has for many years undergone transformation however today myriad of challenges are still glaring.
Nairobi is faced with rapid urbanization and congestion. The city was initially created for 350,000 people but today it has nearly 5million people.
The rapid growth of Nairobi’s population is not commensurate with the capacity to create jobs.
About 60 percent of Nairobi’s 3.5 million residents live in slums where provision of public service is inadequate.
Unemployment, poverty, corruption poor waste management system and the traffic jam are still a threat to once referred to us the city in the sun. It is estimated that out of 10 unemployed people 8 are the youth aged below 34 years.
Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics’ report indicates a poverty rate of 43%.
Though Nairobi faces numerous challenges, it is still the leading financial, transport and communication hub in East and Central Africa. Sixty per cent of Kenya’s national income and half of its labour force is found in Nairobi – making the city alone larger in terms of economic power than many African countries. The city is projected to have as many as eight million residents by end of decade.
Nairobi’s economy is estimated to expand at four percent with current Gross Domestic Product at $12 billion.
Kenya will hold the general election in 2017 and Nairobi remains a competitive county with leaders across the divide keen to own a piece of cake.
Miguna Miguna is one of the candidates who has declared interest in vying for gubernatorial position in Nairobi.
The opinionated man never minces his words and in an interview on the sidelines at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Miguna Miguna came out as the only person created to bring sanity in Nairobi.
‘’I am vying to become the next governor of Nairobi because I have a clear vision, a clear platform, a clear ideology, clean record, dedicated commitment, and I have the background in terms of the training and the experience in working in politics way before I became the former prime minister’s adviser and given the fact that my competitors are in cartels or cartels themselves have been implicated in theft …. I believe am the most qualified to transform the city.’’
Who is Miguna Miguna
Miguna was born in Magina village. In 1987, whilst serving as a student leader at the University of Nairobi, he was detained by Kenya’s second president Moi regime for his political activism. Upon his release, he fled to neighbouring Tanzania on foot and briefly stayed in Swaziland. He was granted political asylum in Canada where he continued to pursue his higher education. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1990 and thereafter read law at Osgoode Hall Law School. He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1995 and the Kenyan Bar in 2008.
Upon his return, he contested in the primaries of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)’s nomination for Nyando Constituency but lost to Frederick Outa Otieno.
He was part of the ODM’s campaign team during the 2007 general election. In March 2009, he was appointed as Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s senior adviser on coalition affairs.
In August 2011, he was accused of gross misconduct and was thereby suspended without pay. The suspension was lifted on 29 December but Miguna declined his reinstatement.[
In September 2012, he resigned from ODM as a life member and announced his candidacy for Governor of Nairobi County in the 2013 gubernatorial election as an independent candidate. He later on cancelled his candidacy. He launched his second memoir in February 2013 titled Kidneys for the King: Deforming the Status Quo in Kenya. Miguna endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2013 presidential election.
On the clamor of disbandment of IEBC
Miguna is opposed to Kenya’s current Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC )Chairman Isaack Hassan accusing him of not practicing impartiality in the determination of the presidential winner in 2013. He also blames him of being easily compromised with a questionable integrity.
‘’ As a judge you are not supposed to take sides. Hassan did this by attacking the former primer minister Raila Odinga who was a party to this case.’’ Laments Miguna
What will Miguna do for Nairobians?
‘’ Once elected as a governor, the first thing I will do is to carry out a thorough forensic audit of the city’s finances. When you are entering the house you ensure that there are no cockroaches and snakes and rats that are not only going to interfere with your health but the wellbeing of those who live there. Some will be killed…., will go to jail and then whatever they have hidden you know the rat takes things and hides in all manner of places ….will be returned which means our money will be returned and used for infrastructure, for housing and creating jobs for the residents of Nairobi.’’ Says Miguna.
It is estimated that billions of shillings are lost through corruption and close to 60,000dollars are lost every day due to traffic jam in Nairobi.
Well if Miguna Miguna is the man to bring Nairobi back to its earlier form and glory then time will tell.
– Wamoyi M. M., AfricanQuarters, Kenya