President Uhuru Kenyatta led Jubilee party and Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party have unveiled their preferred candidates for forth-coming Kiambaa by-election.
The Kiambaa mini-poll would provide another political battleground between the head of state and his deputy who no longer see eye to eye since the famous handshake and the BBI with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The ruling Jubilee Party is still coming into terms from embarrassing losses in the past three by-elections that were held in Rurii Ward (Nyandarua county), Juja Constituency (Kiambu) and Bonchari Constituency (Kisii county).
Muraya was declared the winner for the Rurii by-election, Nyandarua County after garnering 4,303 votes against Jubilee Party’s candidate Peter Thinji’s 3,143.
The Juja by-election, on the other hand, pitted Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s candidate George Koimburi of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) against Jubilee’s Susan Waititu Wakapee, and nine other candidates.
The string of losses in his perceived stronghold led the president to express his anger by chasing away senior Jubilee officials from State House, Nairobi.
The president blamed Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju, vice-chair David Murathe, Chief Administrative Secretary, State Law Office Winne Guchu, and other advisers for the turn of events.
While acknowledging the defeat, the bruised outfit, which is on a downward trend going by recent by-election results, resorted to conducting nominations through interviews to get what it said would be the right candidate for the Kiambaa mini poll.
Tuju said the party had learnt its lesson in the min polls and conceded defeat.
“To our supporters and members, a Swahili saying “Asiye kubali kushindwa sio mshindani” is apt at this moment. We have learned our lessons and we are going to do things differently.” Tuju said.
The ruling party settled on Karanja Kariri as its flag-bearer after UDA unveiled John Njuguna, who received a boost after Kuria’s candidate, Raymond Kuria, stepped down in his favour.
Nyeri Town Member of Parliament Ngunjiri Wambugu on the other hand opined the three by-elections losses was a blessing for the Jubilee Party.
The legislator believed the dismal performance was a blessing in disguise as it would offer the party another chance to test its popularity in Kiambaa.
“We are going to Kiamba to test the theory they are pushing that the president has lost hold of his backyard and that the party is no longer popular in his backyard. That’s what we are going to check,” Ngunjiri said.