2007 Political Hotspots: Gatundu South Constituency

It is another family encounter in Gatundu, as Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to battle it out with his cousin Ngengi Muigai, who aims to capture the seat on a Narc-K ticket. Uhuru won with a landslide during the 2002 elections, in which his constituents and the greater Kiambu overwhelmingly supported him, believing he would wind up as president. Things have since changed, with allegiances of those who supported him then being transferred to the government of the day.

Uhuru had the first taste of defeat when he failed to clinch the NO vote for the Orange Democratic Movement in his constituency in the November 2005 referendum. But then, before his nomination into parliament, he had failed to capture the same seat owing to the fact that he was contesting on a Kanu ticket, a party that was enormously unpopular in the area. Now his popularity is on the wane again in the constituency, following his association with ODM-K, which is perceived as a betrayal to the people of Central province. Former MP Moses Mwihia, who was ousted by Uhuru, is also planning a comeback, but the field is crowded, with among others in the race businessman Kamita Gichuhi and Charles Mbugua who works for the United Nations.

All except Uhuru are running on a Narc-K ticket, the party with the biggest following in the area. It is expected that Muigai might have an easier time at nominations, due to the influence of his uncle George Muhoho, but other observers say that the sentiments of some of the population is that they do not want to elect somebody else from the Kenyatta family.

Muigai might however, have an easier time of it, considering that the reason he lost to Uhuru in the first place was the determination of the constituents to have the president as one of their own.

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