Gatundu South Constituency: Tough contest awaits Uhuru in his turf

The fortunes of official Opposition leader Uhuru Kenyatta in Gatundu South and the entire Central Province were dwindling even before he pulled Kanu out of ODM Kenya.

He made a final announcement at the weekend that the party would field its own candidates and hinted the possibility of fielding a presidential candidate in the December General Election.

Initially, there were indications he might not vie for presidency when he refused to submit his nomination papers to ODM-K. That indicated that he wanted to stay out of the State House race in favour of President Kibaki.

Mr Kenyatta has re-invented the wheel and he appears to be on course now than he was in April when the Nation featured the Gatundu South constituency profile.

Gatundu South is overwhelmingly in favour of President Kibaki’s re-election and the parties of choice are Narc Kenya and the Democratic Party.

Mr Kenyatta’s exit from ODM-K, an opposition party viewed by Gatundu South people and the entire Central Province as posing a threat to President Kibaki, has slightly changed his fortunes.

Nonetheless, 10 people, among them a woman, have ganged up to wrest the Gatundu South parliamentary seat from Mr Kenyatta.

Ms Salome Kimata is among the latest aspirants seeking, not only to oust Mr Kenyatta, but also block his first cousin Ngengi Muigai, who has declared his intention to make a comeback.

Leading the onslaught against the Kenyatta “dynasty” is a group of Narc-K loyalists, including former MP Moses Mwihia, businessman Kamita Gichuhi, agriculturist Kiongo Njuguna of the Coffee Research Foundation, Mr Boniface Kagochi and Ms Kimata.

A United Nations consultant and former civic leader Charles Ngugi Mbugua, who is the Liberal Democratic Party branch chairman, is also in the race.

Joined the fray

Former Uhuru ally Zachary Mukui and evangelist Isaac Gitangu of the Agano Party have also joined the fray.

They are promising to give the leader of Official Opposition a run for his money.

Mr Kenyatta may find the going rather tough, unlike the previous time when his stature as Kanu’s presidential candidate boosted his chances and ensured he captured the Gatundu seat easily.

He still enjoys support locally and the fight to wrest the seat from him may be a herculean task.

The aspirants are yet to decide whether or not to back one candidate to oppose Mr Kenyatta.

In the recent Narc-K elections, four of them combined forces to lock out Mr Muigai for the party branch leadership and made sure their allies took all the posts.

Mr Muigai, who is the Saba Saba Asili secretary-general, has not made it clear whether he will seek nomination on his party, but all indications are that his heart is in the flower party and is likely to go for the ticket.

If he does so, then the nomination promises to be a bruising battle between him and at least five other contenders including Mr Mwihia, Mr Gichuhi, Mr Njuguna, Mr Mukui and Ms Kimata.

Mr Muigai, who was elected to Parliament after the death of founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and represented the greater Gatundu constituency between 1978 and 1988, is seen as one of the most formidable challengers to Mr Kenyatta.

He has established a working relationship with various Government ministries and as a result sourced funding for various projects including electricity, water and health.

This has often put him on a collision course with the incumbent, leading to frequent and bitter public exchanges between them and among their supporters.

Mr Kenyatta will have to fight off claims by his detractors of abandoning his constituents in his earlier quest for the presidency, which saw him traverse the entire country in a bid to popularise himself.

But more specifically, those seeking to oust him are of the view that the Kenyatta family has had more than its fair share in as far as representing the constituency is concerned.

They argue that it is time leadership went to people outside the “royalty”.

Neglected area

Mr Gichuhi, himself a former Uhuru ally, claims the MP has neglected the area and left the CDF to be managed by his close relatives.

His sentiments are shared by Mr Mbugua, another former associate of the legislator who also charges that there is “nothing to show for the many years the Kenyatta family has dominated Gatundu politics.”

Mr Mbugua, who claims to have initiated Uhuru into politics, says the MP will find the going tough as he has allegedly lost grassroots support.

Ms Kimata is the executive director of United Disability Empowerment in Kenya, a non-governmental organisation based in Nairobi.

She worked as the IT manager for United Tours Company before resigning to establish the NGO. She hails from Ndarugu Location and is a relative of Mr Mukui.

Ms Kimata has been involved in community work through church groups and is a campaigner for empowerment of women and the youths.

She becomes the first woman ever to eye a parliamentary seat in Gatundu District.

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One Response to Gatundu South Constituency: Tough contest awaits Uhuru in his turf

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us updated on what is going on with our politicians in Juja. Personally I would vote for Mr.s Nganga. She is young with fresh ideas as well as genuine heart. I am convinced she will do great work for Juja constituency.

From North America