Third Eye

Mt Kenya succession politics and 2 other major talking points ahead of Kiambaa by-elections

Saturday, July 10th, 2021 10:04 | By
Kiambaa by-election talking points. PHOTO: Courtesy

Residents of the Kiambaa Constituency have been treated to high octane politics ahead of their by-election scheduled for July 15.

As of now, the by-election appears to be a two-horse race between Jubilee's Kariri Njama and UDA's John Njuguna Wanjiku.

The heated political campaigns have seen leaders allied to the ruling Jubilee party and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), led by Deputy President William Ruto, lock horns as they race against time to bag the support of area voters.

But even as the by-election is meant to find a new member of parliament following the death of former officeholder Paul Koinange, the mini-polls has become a test run for several political intrigues.

Jubilee vs UDA

Following the fallout of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy Ruto, the UDA party shot into the limelight as the Tanga Tanga faction understood their 2022 chances will be scuttled if they continue fighting for space in Jubilee.

After many of them were victimized by the Jubilee party in consequence of their allegiance to DP Ruto, they resorted to rebranding the PDR party to UDA for their political future.

To prove their political strength, in retaliation for the mistreatment they received from their ruling party, the leaders have staged a fierce contest to make Jubilee appear powerless politically.

"Ahead of the burial of the late Jubilee in Kiambaa, the funeral Committee is meeting daily at the Karen home of its Secretary General. Burial is set for 15th July. It is well with my vote," Moses Kuria wrote on his Facebook page while reacting to Jubilee strategy meeting o held on June 17.

After the by-elections, one thing that will become clear is who has the political force between Jubilee and UDA.

Uhuru and Ruto

While it appeared that DP Ruto was avoiding a direct contest with President Uhuru in his backyard, the former has no doubt decided to go bare-knuckle.

After pulling out of the Juja by-elections, in what pundits said was a move aimed at avoiding a direct fight with the President, the DP finally dare his boss for a battle in Kiambaa.

While many will say the by-election results are insignificant of what the political future holds for the two, the outcome of the mini-poll will be a major statement on Uhuru vs Ruto succession duel.

My Kenya succession

From the onset, Kiambaa by-election was to play host to king making exercise for the Mt Kenya region owing to President Uhuru's imminent retirement.

This was clear when the Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria appeared determined to stage a candidate through his PEP party to replicate his impressive performance in the Juja by-election.

He met fierce opposition from Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua who disowned Kuria's candidate and said UDA will produce a candidate that will be endorsed by the Tanga Tanga group.

The power struggle between Kuria and the two brought to the fore the ongoing infighting among Mt Kenya leaders over the control of the vote-rich region.

To Kuria, winning Juja and Kiambaa would have been a huge political point on his ability to steer the Mt Kenya region to the next political course after President Uhuru's exit.

Though his wish couldn't see the light of the day, his campaign movements in Kiambaa show the Gatundu MP is positioning himself for some political bragging rights of sorts in the event UDA wins.

" For the days I have been campaigning in Kiambaa, one thing I heard from the ground is that people were talking about Moses Kuria and Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo; that is regarding Mt Kenya succession politics," Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale told KTN News on Thursday.

As it stands Kuria has invested heavily in terms of time and resources to ensure UDA candidates win and, in the end, gets a share of political bragging rights over his ability to lead the Mt Kenya region.

The results of the by-election will no doubt determine whether President Uhuru is still the ultimate kingpin of the region or the likes of Moses Kuria should be warming up to take over the leadership mantle.

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