Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015

MURANG'A COUNTY NOW SPLIT BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH AHEAD OF 2017


A serious political scheming in Murang’a county is the offing for 2017 pitying Murang’a South and Murang’a North politicians. During the last general elections, Murang’a North captured all the seats leaving their southern counterparts empty handed.
Muranga county has a total of 457,052 registered votes with the south having a total of 284,950 and north 172,102 registered voters. This therefore means that is Muranga South constituencies votes as a block, they can pull surprises and turn tables on their northern counterparts.
Muranga South comprises Maragwa (69,353), Kandara (80,554), Kigumo (60,921) and Gatanga (74,122) constituencies with a combined voting block of 284,950 while North comprises Kiharu (89,180), Mathioya (43,141) and Kangema (39,781) constituencies with a total of 172,102 registered voters.
Leaders from the southern part have said they got a raw deal in the last general election. Kandara MP Alice Wahome and her Kigumo counterpart Jamleck Kamau now claim that said they were cheated by their north counterparts in the governor, senator and women’s representative positions.
Investigations reveal that a pre-nomination deal on power sharing between South and North was trashed by aspirants and leaders from North.
Leaders and voters from the south now claim voters in the county ignored a gentleman agreement which saw equal distribution of the three top seats between the two regions.
In the agreement, Murang’a South (Maragua, Kandara, Gatanga and Kigumo constituencies) were to produce governor and senator to come from North (Kiharu, Kangema and Mathioya constituencies). The deputy governor was to come from South and women rep south. 
Going by the last general election’s voting pattern, the people of Murang’a south supported candidates from the northern side but they have now vowed not make the same mistake in 2017. They are now pushing for a pre-election pact to have the county seats shared equally between the two regions.
In the last elections, Murang’a North politicians swept cleans the seats of the governor (Mwangi Wairia), senator (Kembi Gitura) and Sabina Chege (women’s representative).
According to a new game plan, leaders from the southern region will unite to form a formidable team that will ensure they clinch the seats in the next elections.
Sources say Kamau has been on the ground laying strategies for the governor’s seat and that he will not defend his seat in parliament in 2017. Already MCAs from Murang’a South have stared laying ground for his election. He is also said to enjoy support from local Knut and Kuppet officials from both North and South. Majority of teachers are said to be in support of his candidature.
Kamau and his troops have started lying ground for a bruising battle for the seat come general elections and his main target is the education sector. They say education standards had greatly improved in his Kigumo constituency leading to Kigumo emerging the best in the county’s subcounties.
However, Kamau is accused to have not tackled the problem of principals from Murang’a county who are under siege from the Murang’a county education board who is giving them sleepless nights over forced illegal levies.
According to the principals, Murang’a county education board whose secretary is Mary Gaturu who is also the Murang’a county director of education is threatening them with unspecified action if they defy her orders to remit the illegal levies.
The principals are now appealing to Kamau and the county’s political leadership to intervene as they are under serious intimidation and threats. Specifically, they are demanding that he addresses the demand by Gaturu that all school heads remit Sh100 per student for the county education board fund. This illegal demand is contained in a letter dated November 11 2014 (Ref. M’NGA/CTY/GEN/74/Vol 1/82) signed by Gataru and addressed to all secondary school principals and copied to subcounty directors of education and district Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman in the county.
Currently, the principals’ morale is at their lowest ebb and unless the political leadership moves fast to intervene, it is likely to affect the academic standards in the county at national exams.
Sources say Kandara MP Wahome is also contemplating contesting a higher seat in 2017. It is still not clear which seat she is eyeing but reports indicate that she will be battling it out with Sabina Chege for the women rep’s seat.
Maragwa MP Peter Mwangi is being rumuored to have shown interest in the senatorial seat and will battle it out with Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura.