How and Why Hon Sumra lost the Embakasi South by election to Hon Mawathe

How and Why Hon Sumra lost the Embakasi South by election to Hon Mawathe

By Arap Doyo


Case Study on how NOT to conduct city campaigns. Sumra is such a lesson.

1. You and your team can not centre all your messaging around “taming another politician” who is not even on the ballot, as your main agenda and expect a win.

2. Gayish statements like mnipeleke pale mbungeni ndio ni “mpige Ruto chuma ya nyuma” can only excite a handful youthful voters. And no one else.

3. People are slowly moving away from political idol politics. While Raila is a brand in City politics, his usefulness is quite limited in determining the city election outcomes. Sumra resulted to placing bigger photos of Raila than himself on the Campaign Posters. His entire strategy was to ride on ‘Kijana ya Baba” narrative and it was bound to fail from the start.

4. All politics is local. While the city electorates are quite exposed than an average countryside voter, the local ethnic card still counted as much. Sumra an Indian perhaps thought he stood a chance against a Kamba Candidate – Mawathe- who could speak fluent Luo language. And with a no Jubilee Candidate on the ballot, Sumra’s goose was cooked before the voting could begin. Do not be fooled by the “handshake” that Kikuyus could vote in Sumra yet during his 2013-17 term, he marginalised them completely. The wounds are still fresh.

5. ODM strategy was itself a farce. While Mawathe capitalized on grassroot mobilization, the Orange party was busy holding rallies, inviting ODM politicians, whose only contribution to the campaign was Anti-Ruto rhetorics, Tibim and Tialala.

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6. Sumra and Team underestimated Sonko and Ruto’s hand in the election. There was no strategy to counter their manoeuvres. And the two are having the final last laugh.

Congratulations to the little known Hon. Mawathe for retaining his seat. Sumra can buy extra packs of Kuber Tobacco to assuage the stress. Paying all the money at the courts corridors – From the high court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, overturning a win, going back to the election and losing again can be mentally traumatizing.

Sumra’s friends. Please check on him.


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