Elections losers live to fight another day

Outgoing Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra was among candidates of Asian descent who lost in the General Election.

Mr Sumra was on the wrong end of the rivalry within the National Super Alliance (Nasa) as his main opponent ran on a Wiper ticket.

The inter-party rivalry within Nasa played out in 195 electoral contests in the governor, woman rep, National Assembly and Senate races across the country.

In the tight contest, he garnered 33,009 votes against Julius Mawathe’s 33,174.

The constituency is still in the hands of the Opposition, though, meaning that the internal rivalry did not cost the coalition.

In the bigger race for the Nairobi senate seat, Rameshchandra Govind Gorasia was on a Wiper ticket.

He emerged third in the contest, beaten by a large margin by eventual winner Johnson Sakaja with 832,841 votes and second-placed Edwin Sifuna of ODM.

Mr Gorasia is the owner of Taj Mall at the junction of Outer Ring Road and the Southern Bypass and has been involved in a protracted fight to save the building after it was marked for partial demolition to pave the way for the expansion of Outer Ring Road.

In North Imenti, Rajesh Valji Hirani could only garner 3,950 as he emerged third behind former MP Silas Muriuki Ruteere (28,894) and the winner, Abdul Rahim Dawood, who retained his seat.

Ms Sonia Birdi, who was a URP-nominated MP in the last Parliament, will have to sit this one out as she was not put on the party nomination list.

She contested in the Jubilee Party nominations for Westlands but lost. 


The other Asian in the Westlands contest was Ashif Amin Sadrudin Walji.

He garnered 16,078 votes and emerged third behind Jubilee’s Dedan Mugo Gichenga and winner Timothy Wanyonyi of ODM.

Back to Embakasi South. Mr Sumra defied calls by the Nairobi ODM chairman George Aladwa to step down for Mr Mawathe to avoid splitting votes.

Also in the race was former Nairobi environment executive, Mr Evans Ondieki, a Ford Kenya candidate.

Mr Sumra, a seasoned politician is a well-known city businessman.

He owns Roma Scrap Metal Limited. As chairman of Kenya Scrap Metal Association, Mr Sumra was the heart of the debate that preceded enactment of the Scrap Metal Bill 2012.

In North Imenti, Mr Hirani, a newcomer in politics vied for the seat on National Vision Party, associated with Kanu-era power broker Nicholas Biwott, who died on July 11.

He emerged third with 3,950 votes in a race that attracted 10 candidates.

Mr Hirani comes from an Asian family that operates a PVC pipe manufacturing firm in Meru town, besides having interests in hardware.

He has been trying to punch holes in Mr Dawood’s leadership armour accusing him of failing in efficiently representing the people of North Imenti Constituency.

Previously, Mr Hirani made a name for himself as a miraa ambassador and is commonly referred as the ‘Green Gold Ambassador’.

During the campaigns, he said he wanted to introduce fresh leadership in the development of North Imenti. 

“I have used my own resources in educating pupils and students from poor backgrounds and bought water tanks for women groups,” Mr Hirani said.

He added: “I have also been supporting Joyful Women Organisation (Joywo) through many initiatives not only in Meru but across the country.

“I realised I could not do much in helping people as a businessman but a politician by contributing to policy making.”

Women did well in race for seats but gender rule figure is yet to be met

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