Stakes are high ahead of next week’s by-elections in President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s home turf of Kiambu County.
The president’s Jubilee candidates will face off with his Deputy William Ruto‘s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) backed candidates next Thursday for the Kiambaa parliamentary and Muguga ward mini-polls.
For the two leaders, this will be a political duel as the DP makes inroads in his boss backyard coming just weeks after white-washing him in the Juja parliamentary by-election.
MPs allied to the DP have exuded confidence that they will carry the day, which might see UDA have its first MP after winning the London ward seat in Nakuru County and Rurii in Nyandarua County.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), together with senators Irungu Kangata (Muranga) and Millicent Omanga (nominated)’and former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru said the by-elections will be a test of parties’ strength in Mt Kenya region.
They said they done their ground work well and claimed that people resonate with their Hustler Nation slogan and will also pool all available resources to win.
The Kiharu MP said although most of them were staunch Jubilee followers, they had to leave on sensing defeat in the rival camp.
“We have camped here for one reason only, bag these two seats and if we win, UDA will no longer be the underdog but the main outfit and a force to reckon with,” he said.
Recently, Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Wamchomba, a strong supporter of the president ditched his camp to join his deputy.
Apart from Gathoni, UDA allied MPs have been drumming up support for the candidates through door to door and in person gatherings.
On July 5th, the team had organised a meeting where women across the populous constituency met at a Ruaka hotel where the leaders urged them to turn up in large numbers to vote for their candidates.
This was one of the biggest meeting ever called by UDA in bid to wrestle the seat from Jubilee. Speaking at the venue, Ichungwa said UDA is in the race to win. “These by-elections come at a time when the supremacy battle between us in UDA and Jubilee is simmering. Whoever wins, is the lion of the mountain,” he said.
Gachagua said they were mistreated in Jubilee. ”We were given such a bad treatment, we were chased away and called names for no good reason and nobody has ever come to tell us what happened. This propelled us to a new party and we are sure to bag these two seats,” Gachagua said.
To ensure UDA candidate for Kiambaa Njuguna Wanjiku carries the day, the team has been battling with Jubilee in most populous areas. The two teams have pitched camp at Kihara ward, Karuri ward and Ndenderu ward.
Kariri Njama of Jubilee comes from Kihara ward, where the bulk of votes are.
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