OPINION: Babu Owino, Senator Sifuna personal swipe on Sakaja unwarranted


By Kenn Okaka

The recent out bursts by Nairobi Senator Edwina Sifuna and Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino attacking Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja are uncalled for.

The two leaders, who have taken to personal attacks on Governor Sakaja are unwarranted and are not in line to service delivery to the people of Nairobi who elected them; this according to political pundits well within the circles of Nairobi politics.

Sakaja, who has been working round the clock to fulfill election pledges, one after the other, with a plan to ease the many problems shrouding Nairobi residents, particularly in the low income areas has come under sharp criticism from the two leaders who even take to personal attacks on his appearance and working modules.

Rumour has it that Babu Owino harbors an ambition to unseat Sakaja as Governor albeit seen as a pipe dream by those in the know of how elections in Nairobi are won.

Last week, Babu Owino accused Sakaja of owning nothing prior to his election as Governor, “save for his dimples” in a swipe that has been interpreted as an attack on the governor’s physical appearance, as opposed to what the legislator should criticize, that is service delivery by the Sakaja administration.

“When Sakaja was elected the only thing he possessed was a dimple.Nairobi is genuinely working FOR HIM not Nairobians. If a man could steal a degree from Uganda a foreign country, what can’t he steal from his mother country? He’s stealing everything including People’s Boyfriends. Sakaja ana DISHI COUNTY,” Babu Owino said on his Instagram page.

The attack directed to Sakaja seemed to not only demean Sakaja’s physical appearance but also his credentials and character. Ironically, Babu Owino, who supposedly hails from the lake basin region, has never been discriminated upon based on his physical appearance, even with the known fact that he looks nothing like his kins.

On the other hand, Senator Sifuna, during an interview on Mic Cheque podcast, accused Sakaja of being inaccessible. The Nairobi Senator accused Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja of ignoring his calls, saying they are not friends but leaders elected to serve the same people.

“The problem I have with him (Sakaja) is that he thrives in a lot of PR (public relations). If you sit with him he makes very many empty promises. You see if someone did their job… we don’t have to be friends. We can be cordial. When I call him he doesn’t pick my calls yet I’m his Senator. Sakaja does not fulfill what has been agreed upon in discussions,” Sifuna lamented.

However, Sifuna’s complaints can be attributed to the failure by Governor Sakaja to give in to the senator’s extortion demands on him. Sifuna, who in 2023, was a top supporter of the Sakaja administration’s ‘Dishi Na County’ school feeding program has since turned to an erstwhile critic of the program.

According to sources close to the Governor, both Sifuna and Babu Owino have tried on numerous times to solicit for funds from Sakaja in exchange to their support for the school feeding program, which Sakaja has adamantly refused to agree to leading to their attacks on the Governor.

“When Sifuna says that Sakaja does not fulfill what has been agreed upon in discussions, he is simply whining because Governor Sakaja has refused to give him money. How do you pick calls from someone who has been trying to extort money from you? If Sifuna was calling Sakaja on development matters, the governor could be picking up his calls. After all, Sakaja is in constant communication with other Members of Parliament and MCA’s so why do you think Senator Sifuna’s calls go unanswered?” Posed one MCA close to the Governor and who sought anonymity.

According to Sifuna, the Governor has mastered the art of public relations politics at the expense of serving electorate. The ODM secretary general clarified that he is not seeking friendship with Sakaja, as long as he fulfills his commitment to the people of Nairobi but our sources pointed at strained relations due to the extortion attempts by the Senator which have all being rejected by the Governor.

Sifuna has been trying to extort money from Sakaja, in collaboration with Babu Owino and former Nairobi CEC for education Muthoni Ouko, who had a contract irregularly awarded a tender to supply food to schools cut short by the unrolling of Dishi Na County.

The writer Kenn Okaka is a Media and Communications Consultant .

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