August 9

Irungu Kang’ata: Was elected as Councillor at 21, now wants to become Murang’a governor

Thursday, July 7th, 2022 18:22 | By
Murang'a county governor-elect Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/Courtesy
Governor Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/Courtesy

Senator Irungu Kang'ata has risen through the political ranks right from a councillor, way up to the senate.

Kang'ata is now eyeing the Murang'a governor's seat and he is confident of winning it in August.

He believes he is the best-suited candidate to take over from the outgoing governor Mwangi wa Iria with a promise to transform the county and improve the livelihoods of the people.

His star in leadership started shining when he was at the University of Nairobi when he was elected as the vice-chair of SONU (Students Organization of Nairobi University).

In 2000, he led a peaceful demonstration protesting discrimination against regular students after the introduction of Parallel degree programs which saw him and a number of other students being suspended from the institution. He was however reinstated back in 2003.

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/File
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/File

During the suspension period, he vied for a political seat and was elected the Councilor Central Ward (currently known as Township) in Murang'a.

He is on record to be the youngest leader to be elected at the age of 21 years.

He served for one term and embarked on completing his studies.

In 2012, he made a comeback and contested for the Kiharu parliamentary seat where he ousted Muturi Mwangi, the then MP.

This seemed to have motivated him to go for a higher seat and in 2017 he vied for the senator's seat and emerged the winner after trouncing Kembi Gitura.

Kang'ata says his service delivery to the people is what makes them gain confidence.

His key program has been medical camps which he has been organizing for over a decade and which have benefited thousands of people.

"I started organizing medical camps when I was a Councilor using the little money I got. This has been a way of reaching out to the people who are not able to access quality medical care at the health facilities and those who are not able to buy drugs" he said.

In his tenure as a member of parliament, he was recognized as the best manager of the CDF kitty and disbursement of Uwezo funds.

He also got an award from Mzalendo Trust for sponsoring the motion which aimed at barring HELB from penalizing the beneficiaries.

In the Senate, Kang'ata was elected Deputy Majority Whip and later promoted to Chief Whip after the ousting of Susan Kihika in May 2020.

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/Courtesy
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata. PHOTO/Courtesy

He however did not serve for long as he was thrown out after the infamous explosive BBI letter to the president in February 2021.

In the letter, he said BBI was not popular in the Mt.Kenya region and that people were against it and this did not go well with the government and Jubilee party leadership where he belonged. Senator Kimani wa Matangi was picked to replace him.

The Jubilee party said while he had the right to express his views, the manner in which he did it was wrong, and even after being given an opportunity to retract and apologize, he declined.

"I only wanted the president to know the truth about this issue but some took it as if I was disrespectful to him which was not the case," he said.

His stay in Jubilee was however unbearable and he shifted camps to join Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

He exuded confidence that UDA shall form the next government adding that its agenda shall help improve the economy of the country and in return people shall have better lives.

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata editing his PhD thesis at home on April 8, 2020. PHOTO/PD
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata editing his PhD thesis at home on April 8, 2020. PHOTO/PD

His manifesto too is aligned to the UDA's national agenda where he said his focus is on agriculture, health, education, and youth empowerment.

He said having served in the Senate for five years, he understands how devolution works.

"If elected, I will transform this county and ensure the people of Murang'a enjoy quality services from the government," he said.

Kang'ata, 42, is a lawyer by profession, and an advocate of the High court of Kenya. He is also a partner in Irungu Kang'ata &Co.Advocates.

He has a PhD in Law from the University of Nairobi.

He is a family man with a wife and two children.

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