Jubilee likely to gain from Laikipia Kenya Kwanza tiff
Jubilee is likely to benefit from the emerging rivalry among Kenya Kwanza parties in Laikipia county which played out in public during the outfit’s presidential candidate William Ruto’s tour of the region on Saturday.
The Service Party (TSP) led by Mwangi Kiunjuri appears determined to edge out the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) of Deputy President enjoying great support in the county since last year.
Kiunjuri, who is vying for the Laikipia East parliamentary seat, camped in Laikipia West for the whole week prior to Ruto’s visit. Kiunjuri met different groups including hundreds of residents of the populous Maina village.
Media were not invited into those meetings but sources indicated the meetings were to popularise TSP candidates who are vying for parliamentary and ward seats in Laikipia West and the TSP Woman Rep candidate, Beth Waithera Wandayana.
The results of the meetings was the supporters of TSP coming out in large numbers during Ruto’s visit. The crowd donning TSP caps and carrying posters of the party’s candidates ensured Kenya Kwanza rally in Nyahururu was not turned into a UDA affair. Kiunjuri is said to have vowed to lock out UDA in Laikipia in the coming election.
“It appears the (TSP) crowd was purposely strategically made to surround Ruto’s vehicle to make it impossible for Ruto to give UDA candidates a chance to address the meeting in Nyahururu,” said John Mwangi who said he was Azimio One Kenya alliance supporter.
The political wrangling among parties in Kenya Kwanza played out further in Nyahururu when Kiunjuri openly differed with Ruto on the needs of Laikipia County.
Ruto promised to carry on with road projects started by the Jubilee government in the County when he wins the presidency in the August 9 Elections.
“Even if the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) is retiring, I will ensure the road connecting Rumuruti and Nanyuki is built as promised, when we take over leadership,” he said adding that the Jubilee government has tarmacked over 200km of roads in Laikipia County.
“When we took over, only 20,000 people had electricity but now that number stands at 70,000. I assure you that work of connecting electricity will not stop, I will carry on,” he said.
When Kiunjuri was called by the DP to address the crowd at the junction of Kenyatta and Koinange roads in Nyahururu town, the TSP leader said the problem of the County was not roads.
“The problem of Laikipia is not the roads. Roads are okay but what Laikipia people need is security, you need to address it,” Kiunjuri told the second in command of Kenya.
The presence of the hyper active TSP supporters appeared to have upset the agenda of the UDA team in the entourage among them the Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua, Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichung’wa.
Apart from Ruto who spoke at length, other speakers were brief with Nyoro and Ichung’wa only alleging the money meant to pay Kazi Mtaani workers was stolen.
The two claimed that each of the workers was supposed to earn Sh1000 per day and not the Sh400 they are getting.
The biggest losers were Laikipia UDA governorship candidate Joshua Irungu and Senator John Kinyua who were not given a chance to address the Nyahururu gathering because they could have been heckled by a section of the crowd.
Ruto had to severally plead with those holding the posters to lower them to allow him and those standing away to have a better view of each other.
Others in the entourage were Speaker Justin Muturi and Chama Cha Kazi leader Moses Kuria who were very brief in their speeches. Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago was not recognized nor given a chance despite standing in his vehicle next to Kiunjuri’s.