Nithi Constituency: Miriti banking on split plan to ease pressure

Parliamentary aspirants in Nithi constituency have been holding their breath for the proposed split of the constituency into two. But whether this happens or not, the current MP Mr Petkay Miriti still faces a daunting task of defending his seat.

Mr Miriti, an assistant minister, faces Mrs Tabitha Mbungu, the principal of Ndagoni Secondary School from his Magumoni backyard, a sister to former MP the late Capt Erastus Mbuba Ms Petronella Ciamati and a media practitioner, Ms Pamela Mburia. Others are a former MP Mr Njoka Mutani, Dr Gichuiyia M’Riara, a former deputy director of medical services, a retired civil servant Mr Domisiano Kaburu Njeru and a banker Mr Obadiah Mbae Justo.

Also in the race are teachers Kinyua Mutembei and Murithi Murithi, a Nairobi businessmen Mr Basil Nyaga Mbuni an Mr Miriti Mbiuki Kareke. Mr Njagi Gitonga, a lead consultant with the International Development and Peace Organisation (Africa ), who also comes from Magumoni is also running.

Nithi lies between rivers Thuci and North Maara. Agriculture is the economic mainstay of its 226,152 inhabitants. The revival of water projects, some of which had stalled for the last 20 years, is expected to feature in the campaigns.

Mr Miriti, a former senior officer with the dreaded Special Branch, is a son of a former colonial chief. He was elected to Parliament on his first attempt in 2002 on a Narc ticket, defeating the late Mbuba of Kanu. His opponents accuse him of failing to deliver his pre-election pledges. They further accuse him of unfair distribution of the CDF money.

People from Muthambi and Mwimbi divisions says their representation in the constituency development committee is inadequate. He is also being accused of intimidating civil servants and teachers who do not toe his line. He may not escape blame if Nithi is not split. Proposals have been made to split it and rename the new constituencies Chuka and Maara.

Dr Riara, a gynaecologist who seems to be Mr Miriti’s biggest threat, has lately been conducting door-to-door campaigns. He has been distributing drugs, which he gets from his friends abroad, to health institutions. He has formed a formidable network of Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) elders to campaign for him.

Mr Mutani, now in his late 60s, is a former MP whose election in 1997 was quashed by the High Court for administering an oath. In the ensuing by-election he lost to the late Mbuba.

Mr Njeru recently resigned from the Ministry of Agriculture where he was the Extension Services director. He is a wealthy man with extensive farming interests around Kabarak in the Rift Valley.

He also owns property around Chuka and his deep pockets and generosity will no doubt give him a boost. He will be banking on the big following he is likely to command in his Muthambi backyard.

Mr Murithi and Mr Mbuni have both unsuccessfully contested the seat before but Mr Kareke and Mr Mutembei will be making their debut in elective politics.

If the constituency is split, Mr Mbuni, Mr Ronald Micheni, Mr Njeru, Ms Mburia, Mr Murithi, Mr Kareke, Mr Mbae and Mr Mutembei will each seek to become the first MP for Maara. Mr Miriti then face the rest of the pack in the proposed Chuka constituency.

Mr Kareke is a businessman in Nairobi who comes from Mwimbi and operates a fleet of matatus through which he has been publicising himself.

Mr Micheni is a little known teacher and former chairman of the Isiolo Teachers Sacco. In his early thirties, he pins his hopes on the young voters. He is a preacher and uses evangelical crusades to push his political agenda.

Ms Mburia, a former broadcaster who is now the CEO of the African Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), has popularised herself in her Chogoria home area by supporting women’s projects. An orator, she is the secretary of a professionals group from Mwimbi and Muthambi who have been collecting money to promote education.

Mr Mbae, the chairman of the Industrial Development Bank, is a newcomer.

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One Response to Nithi Constituency: Miriti banking on split plan to ease pressure

Anonymous said...

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