Inside Politics

Uhuru torn between Kimemia, Sicily

Monday, April 25th, 2022 04:46 | By
A collage of Francis Kimemia and Sicily Kariuki.

Anxiety lingers in Nyandarua and Kirinyaga counties over who will be the Jubilee candidates for governor after the party failed to announce the winners on Friday.

Negotiations in Nairobi saw corporate guru Polycarp Igathe awarded the certificate, Kiambu’s went to incumbent Governor James Nyoro, and so were Lee Kinyanjui of Nakuru and his Laikipia colleague Ndiritu Muriithi.

Other aspirants already awarded the ticket are Senator Ephraim Maina (Nyeri), former Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau for Murang’a governor race, former Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Erastus Njoka (Tharaka Nithi) while Embu’s went to Emilio Kathuri. 

Nyandarua, according to sources, has been a subject of deep intrigues that has seen the candidature of former Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and incumbent Francis Kimemia referred to President Uhuru Kenyatta for arbitration.

The sources divulged that while interviews and opinion polls placed Kariuki way ahead, a section of Jubilee leaders overturned it in favour of Kimemia.  The governor, the sources said, was supposed to get the certificate that had already been drafted on Friday.

However, Kariuki walked in minutes before the handing over of the ticket and pitched tent there until late into the night, thereby scuttling issuance of the ticket.

A section of Jubilee officials have held that Kariuki should contest for the Senate seat and allow Kimemia fight for a second term, but the former CS is said to have held her ground.

The party is yet to make public its candidate for Senate seat. 

Final decision

“I held a closed-door meeting with party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni. He has re-assured us that the Nyandarua governor ticket has not been issued yet. I urge you to remain calm as we await the final decision from the party,” said Kariuki.

In Kirinyaga, the battle is between Woman Rep Wangui Ngirichi, deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri and Senator Charles Kibiru.

In Murang’a, there was a shock defeat for Kangema MP Muturi Kigano, who lost to George Kibuku. Prof Peter Kagwanja, who was eyeing the  Senate seat  bowed out of the race after Jubilee gave the ticket to his opponent Kembi Gitura.

Kagwanja said he respects the decision by the panel in which the President, as the party leader, had his input.

Kagwanja said he has opted not to run as an independent candidate but he will shift from politics to development.

 “I know this is not what my supporters expected me to do but I have opted to take a different route and quit active politics,” he said.

 In Kajiado, it was agreed that former Kajiado West MP Moses ole Sakuda will carry the party ticket after Assembly Speaker Johnson Osoi dropped out of the race.

Marina Kelly (Kajiado East), Joseph Simel (Kajiado West), Parsimei Gitau (Kajiado North) and John Parit (Kajiado South) will fly the Jubilee flag  for respective parliamentary seats.

 Simayiai Rakita will seek the Woman Rep position after her opponent, Eve Merin dropped out. The Jubilee line-up in Kajiado is now complete with former Governor David Nkedianye being the flag bearer. Nkedianye has already picked Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje as his running mate. 

In Northern Kenya, President Uhuru brokered a deal for Jubilee gubernatorial candidates in Mandera county.

Senator Maalim Mohamud will be the party flagbearer, while the former East African Region Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed will be the Senate candidate while Mombasa businessman Feisal Abbas Abdirahman, will defer his political ambitions awaiting a Cabinet post.

New twist

However, Abbas has refuted claims that he “deferred his gubernatorial ambitions” in favour of Senator Mohamed.

“It is said that a dying horse can engage in some kicks. These kicks may be dangerous, but they do not last long. Progressively, they become weaker until the horse finally gives up or dies,” he wrote.

 And in Wajir, the governor contest has taken a new twist after two arch-rivals teamed up to reclaim the position they lost to Governor Mohamed Abdi.

Former Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has joined hands close challenger in the 2017 polls, Ahmed Muhumed Abdi to run as governor and deputy respectively in the August 9 General Election.

The two will vie on Orange Democratic Movement ticket.

Abdullahi, a former economic adviser to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, is from the dominant Mantaan sub-clan of the Degodia clan while Muhumed is from the Maqabul sub-clan of the main Ogaden. “After a long and serious consultation following my decision to vie for an elective position, I have finally found a like-minded person and whom we share common visions in the bid to reform and prosper Wajir county,” Muhumed said as he joined Abdullahi to receive the ODM nomination certificate at Bomas of Kenya.

The duo will face-off with deputy Governor Ahmed Ali Muktar, who decamped from Jubilee to United Democratic Alliance.

Ugas Sheikh Mohamed who ditched the Party of National Unity for Amani National Congress and Nairobi South proprietor Hassan Mohamed are seeking to fly the Jubilee ticket. 

Additional reporting by Hillary Mageka, Christine Musa and Wangari Njuguna

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