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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

GATUNDU BY-ELECTION: WHY MOSES KURIA IS A WORRIED MAN



TNA aspirant for the Gatundu North by-election Moses Kuria’s campaigns suffered a devastating blow last week after his campaign manager George Kaimburu withdrew his support and defected to Joachim Kamere’s camp alongside hundreds of supporters.


Contrary to perceptions that clinching a TNA ticket for the by-election was as good as being elected, the reality is now sinking on Kuria who must now burn the midnight oil to counter Kamere’s growing popularity.

Kiamburu’s defection has drastically reduced chances of Kuria winning the seat and more so after he made a revelation that Kuria is not even a registered voter in Gatundu South and that he did not have a home in the constituency.

Sources say although Kuria is a registered voter, his vote is suspected to be in Nairobi County and not in Gatundu something that is beginning to work negatively against him. By last week, Kiamburu’s defection and the new revelations were hurting Kuria’s campaigns who is now said to be relying on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s support to win the seat.


The architect of the anti-Kuria campaigns is the widow of the immediate former MP Joseph Ngugi.  Joyce Wanjiku, the widow, came second in the party controversial primaries. At first, she had plotted to decamp from TNA to contest on URP ticket but things did not work out for her. She was forced by circumstances to swallow her pride but to remain in TNA.

Kiamburu is now leading an onslaught against Kuria revealing his weak points to Kamere campaign team who are now using it to finish him politically. Sources say majority of voters see Kuria as an outsider while others claim he is arrogant as compared to Kamere.


What has now come out clear is that Uhuru has decided to keep off the Gatundu by-elections to allow voters to elect a leader of their choice. Sources say Uhuru might also be acting on intelligence report which according to sources close to Kuria’s campaign team indicated that Kamere was ahead.

It is against this background that Uhuru does not want to be embarrassed at his own political backyard should voters put aside political party affiliation to vote for Kamere.
Deputy President William Ruto was last week embarrassed when section Gatundu voters publicly rejected his calls to have them vote for Kuria. Ruto had been duped by Kuria that he was a popular candidate and invited Ruto to campaign for him only for voters to humiliate the DP and Kuria.

Some statements made by Ruto during his campaign tour has equally driven away more voters from Kuria’s camp. “Mimi naunga mkono huyu jamaa Kuria kwa sababu yeye anaweza kubishana na wale watu wa vitendawili na hiyo inatupa wakati wa kufanya kazi mimi na Rais", said DP Ruto.

Gatundu voters are now left wondering if Kuria will go to parliament to checkmate and insult Cord leader Raila Odinga or to represent them and to bring development to the electorate.

It is said Uhuru had sent Ruto and Adan Dwale to test waters for him and the report we have is that the reception the two leaders received was not impressive. Duale was during the visit was heard saying that Kuria’s victory is a forgone conclusion and that he will only participate in the by-election.

As if Duale was confirming claims that Kuria is arrogant and proud, voters have not taken his statements lightly. “The people of Gatundu have no choice but vote for Kuria”. He made the remark in Nairobi last week during a fund raising meeting to raise fund for Kuria’s campaigns where Sh8m was raised.

Initially, Kuria had hoped to run on the back of the party’s popularity in the constituency but was forced to run back to the drawing board after he realised that the candidates he defeated in the by-election and who did not concede defeat were slowly regrouping to support Kamere.
During the nominations, Kuria garnered 8,343 votes ahead of Wanjiku who got 6,685; Kamere garnered 2,353 while former civic leader, John Karing’u got 1,811.