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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Dirty games in Nyeri as Gachagua elbowed from Jap

Politicians from Nyeri county once exposed their political differences when a cross section of TNA leaders rejected the defection of Governor Nderitu Gachagua from GNU to Jap.
The defection has been received with mixed reactions with some MPs now abandoning their colleagues to support Gachagua while others have stood their ground that Gachagua is not welcome in the party.
The county with seven MPs has been rocked by political wrangles since the last general elections with attempts to impeach Gachagua. Mathira MP Peter Weru has now abandoned his colleagues to team up with Gachagua, Nyeri Jap patron William Wahome and secretary general Nderitu Miitii to ensure they counter the MPs who are opposed to Gachagua joining Jap.
Gachagua was the only one who survived the TNA wave in the region. All governors in the region went in office on a TNA party ticket.
“I have ditched my small party and I’m officially in Jap. You will see me leading the recruitment of new members very soon,” Gachagua said.
His decamping has caused political jitters in the region. Wahome said Nyeri is now under one political party.
It is worth noting that Gachagua has been working alone implementing his agenda whilst parliamentarians from his county have been snubbing his events, mostly development meetings.
It is now expected that the area senator Mutahi Kagwe who has been attending the events and receiving appraisals from residents for shelving  politics to work with Gachagua is likely to support his defection.
Those opposed to Gachagua now say that those who ditched TNA for other parties like Gachagua, Weru and Kagwe should not be accepted back. Kagwe and Weru were elected on Narc ticket.
Leading the anti-Gachagua team is TNA chairman Thuo Mathenge who claims to be the Jap officials in Nyeri. During the last elections, Gachagua surprised many when he won by 137,469 votes against his archrival Mathenge who contested on Saba Saba Asili party ticket and garnered 48,892 votes while the TNA candidate Patrick Wahome got 127,776 votes. Others were ODM’s John Githinji who got 2,849 votes and Narc-Kenya’s Mwangi Njururi who got 9,234 votes.
Trouble for Gachagua started immediately after the 2013 elections when an election petition was filed challenging his election. His election was contested by Mathenge who accused the electoral commission of contributing to his failure.
Mathenge had accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of substituting the name of his running mate Jeff Kamau with that of Geoffrey Ndegwa.
Mathenge at one time sought court orders to stop Gachagua from taking oath and assuming office but Justice James Wakiaga declined to stop the swearing and instead referred the case to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga for directions.
In December 2014, the Court of Appeal dismissed a petition challenging the election of Gachagua. The court also urged the Director of Public Prosecutions to continue investigating poll loser Mathenge over an alleged fake degree certificate.
In the ruling delivered by Justice Alnashir Visram, the court upheld the earlier ruling made by the High Court Judge James Wakiaga that the major bone of contention regarding the misprint of the complainant’s running mate’s names did not affect the voters, choice in the March 4 2013 elections.
“It is evident that there was a misprint in the running mate’s name but that could not deter voters from voting for their candidate of choice since the main candidate’s name, the party’s name, party symbols and colours in the ballot paper were rightfully placed,” the judge said.
What is surprising is that despite Nyeri falling under Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard, he has never bothered to unite the leaders, something that has been interpreted to mean that he has failed to protect Gachagua against attacks from TNA MPs.
Sources now say William Ruto has been making forays in Nyeri county accompanied by local MPs while at the same time secretly campaigning to have a TNA or Jubilee governor. This has not gone down well with Gachagua and his supporters.
At one time, Gachagua snubbed an event in Mathira, which was attended by Ruto. The MPs wondered why Gachagua failed to send his deputy Samuel Wamathai or his education executive Elijah Nguyo for the launch of the Mathira Education Trust Fund at Karatina Stadium. The governor did not sent a donation or an apology on grounds the visit was organised by his opponents.
With Ruto were Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, Joseph Ngugi, Kanini Kega, Sabina Chege, Priscilla Nyokabi, Kabando wa Kabando, Alice Wahome, Joseph Ngugi, Denis Waweru, Njogu Barua and Alice Ng’ang’a among others.
Gachagua was recently in news after he was admitted to a UK hospital for undisclosed ailment. During his time in hospital, rumours started spreading to the effect he was on HIS death bed and would return  in coffin. The Mathenge camp was blamed for the rumours. Upon his arrival, the governor, capitalising on the sympathy, has re-invented himself politically and his bid to join Jap has sent shivers down the spines of his opponents.