Businessman Richard Ngatia has distanced himself from discussions regarding the endorsement of Polycarp Igathe for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.
Ngatia, who is eyeing the seat on a Jubilee ticket, says he only learnt of Igathe’s bid for the city’s top job on social media.
There have been speculations that the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President was asked to drop his bid in favour of Igathe, who is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s preferred candidate in the governor race.
“I learnt about Polycarp Igathe vying [for Nairobi governor’s seat] on social media. Later, TV aired the same report. I have not been informed of his said-endorsement by President Kenyatta. The Head of State has also not asked me to bow out of the race,” Ngatia said in an interview with Kameme TV on Wednesday night.
He said being a loyal member of the Jubilee party, he deserves the ticket.
“I took a chance on Jubilee Party at a time when it was politically dead. No one wanted to run for an elective seat on Jubilee,” he said.
Jubilee honchos and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition partners are said to have settled on Igathe for the governor seat in a meeting held in State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday, April 19.
During the meeting, Westlands Member of Parliament Tim Wanyonyi, who is seeking to contest for the seat on an ODM party ticket, was asked to deputise Igathe.
Apparently, the decision was made after Ngatia, who had launched aggressive campaigns in the city, fell out of favour with the Jubilee party’s top leadership.
Other candidates who had expressed interest in the Nairobi governor seat on a Jubilee ticket include incumbent Anne Kananu and businesswoman Agnes Kagure.
Yesterday, Igathe, while speaking on Spice FM, said he is nobody’s project in his quest to offer alternative leadership in Kenya’s capital.
“I am stepping down from a group chief commercial officer role to come back and finish what I started, you know what they say? Cometh the hour cometh the man,” said Igathe while referring to his short stint as Governor Mike Sonko’s deputy.
“I hope am the chosen one by the people of Nairobi, I am nobody’s project, people are talking about meetings that were held, the only meetings I have had are with the business people, resident associations, women, youth.”
Meanwhile, Azimio leaders are deliberating on who should deputise Igathe after Wanyonyi reportedly declined to shelve his ambition and play second fiddle to the Equity Group’s chief commercial officer.
Word has it that former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki has been fronted to be Igathe’s running mate with Azimio leaders now pushing Wanyonyi to vie for the Nairobi senate seat.