Nairobi 25th August 2022.
Thank you everyone, asante sana!
I must begin today by saying thank you all! Where do I start? Maybe from the beginning, so you can understand my motivation, and what this day means to me.
I grew up in Ngara, here in Nairobi. I remember as kids, we lived in a neighbourhood of stark contrasts – while we weren’t poor, our estate wasn’t the best either. It wasn’t clean or organised, and I always wondered why that was so, especially compared to a nearby estate that seemed like heaven. The roads were nicer, there was no litter, and the grass was greener. I eventually got to know that it’s because the ‘nicer’ neighbourhood did not necessarily have better people; they were just organised, had created a sense of community, had selected good leadership, and things WORKED. So, being the politician I am, even then, at 7 years of age, I organised a protest to have the same working systems in my estate. I got other kids involved, and I’m proud to say that we started seeing change.
I’ve also just learned that on this day on August 25 in 2012, Neil Armstrong, who was the first person to set foot on the moon, died at 82. Neil accomplished this at 38, only a year older than me at the time, and what I really admired about him was the ability to dream. If Neil and his team could be bold enough to dream to be the first people on the moon, what is stopping us as Nairobians, including the 7 year olds out there, from hoping for a working city? I don’t think it’s too much for us to ask.
From Kayole to Lang’ata, Makadara to Dagoretti, throughout the entire span of the city, Nairobi is a city full of vibrant culture, inspiration, ambition, hope and energy. I have always truly believed that all we need is a working city, and we will become UNSTOPPABLE, a regional and global force; this is what we stand for- a city of order and dignity, hope and opportunity for all.
I want to acknowledge my competitors, especially my friend Polycarp Igathe. Running for office is above all an act of patriotism and courage. And like any race, the best political contests challenge candidates to be their best. So, thank you for engaging on the issues and for moving our county and our politics forward in the most positive way. You were a true embodiment of Siasa Safi.
It would be remiss to talk about the Nairobi we aspire to without recognizing the many, many individuals and leaders on whose shoulders we have the honour to stand. The story of Nairobi has been unfolding for decades. It has many authors. This is just a new chapter. From the first Mayor of Nairobi, Charles Rubia to the last Mayor George Aladwa. From first Governor under this constitution, Gov. Evans Kidero, Gov. Mike Sonko Mbuvi, Governor Anne Kananu as well as Maj. Gen. Badi of the NMS. Thank you. And thank you to all others who have diligently, faithfully served this county.
Most of all I want to thank all the citizens of Nairobi. The quality of any democracy is defined by the calibre of its citizens. And in this election, the citizens of Nairobi proved their mettle and made this country proud. We actively engaged in the process. We debated. We deliberated. We shared our views, our aspirations, and our concerns. We showed up to vote. And most of all, we maintained respect for ourselves and for each other – which is the true definition peace. You voted across party lines, across the tribal divide and showed this country what the people of Nairobi are truly made of.
An improbable campaign
Now, to be honest.
When we set out one year ago, ours was an improbable campaign.
A campaign not based on personal identities – but on the promise of shared ideals and ideas.
A campaign whose agenda was not defined by small pockets of power – but inspired by the aspirations, reality and resilience of the mwananchi.
A campaign that set out to focus not on what divides us, but what we can achieve together.
And in many ways, I was an improbable candidate. A long shot. As I said earlier, kijana wa mtaa with a dream.
But as weeks turned to months, a campaign turned into a community. Small at first. Then bigger. Diverse. Dynamic. Disruptive. Until what started as an improbable campaign, in what I feel has been a journey I started at 7 – to some naïve, to others, frankly, a bit insane… What started as an improbable campaign, led by an improbable candidate today becomes an irrevocable commitment from your Governor.
It is a commitment we are making not just to those who voted for us – or even to those who voted at all—but to every single citizen of this great county.
And it is simple. We will work with you to build a Nairobi whose hallmark is order, that upholds the dignity of all its citizens, that democratizes hope and creates opportunities for all.
A Nairobi that is not just an emblem of African achievement, but an epicenter of global economic activity.
A Nairobi that is always open for business.
A Nairobi where the rules of engagement are clear. The game is fair. And the playing field is level – for everybody.
A Nairobi where talent is nurtured and the audacity of lawful enterprise—the hustle of everyday Kenyans —is encouraged and rewarded, not criminalized and curtailed.
A first-class county where there are no second-class citizens.
A county led by a government that is not just focused on those with millions of shillings in their accounts but creates opportunities for those with millions of ideas in their minds.
A Nairobi that is propelled forward by bipartisan collaboration on the principles we can all agree on:
- That no child should have to go hungry, because we cannot starve our children of opportunity and expect our future to be full
- That no family should have to face poverty because they pursued treatment when they were sick, and no patient should have to endure illness because there aren’t enough medical personnel or medication
- That access to clean, safe, and adequate water – and to decent and affordable shelter— isn’t the preserve of a few, but the right of all
- That being a free citizen must also mean being free to move safely and efficiently within your own county.
Today, we commit to delivering a Nairobi where the true spirit and promise of devolution is realized. Where we are in government, report to YOU, the people.
That’s what we’ve started. That’s where we are going. And I want to be honest with you: getting there won’t be easy. There are no quick fixes or silver bullets. There is a lot of work to be done to deliver on this future. But that work begins today. And more than ever I am convinced that we will get there. Why? Because we will get there together.
To the entire leadership of Nairobi; our Senator, Our Women Rep, our MPs, all our MCAs. Our voters have passed a very strong message to us. They voted with great expectations and across party lines. For me, political grandstanding is over, it is time to work. I commit to work with each and every one of you for the sake of the people we so dearly love.
Nairobi, thank you for giving me the most important assignment of my life. Together, we have already dared to defy the status quo. Now let’s dare to redefine it. Let’s make Nairobi Work. For all of us.
I wish to thank everyone who believed in me and supported us on this journey. I want to thank my family, my confidant, my team, my running mate Njoroge Muchiri, our party leader and president elect William Ruto, and most importantly, God, who has never failed me, and will never fail us as a people.
God bless Kenya,
God bless Nairobi,