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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Plot to lock Waithaka, Kimemia out of Nyandarua politics

Political temperatures in Nyandarua are boiling as leaders scheme ahead of 2017 polls.
And with word that the once powerful head of civil service Francis Kimemia torn between either running as the governor in the region or going for Nakuru county slot where he has invested heavily, schemes and counter schemes are being worked on day and night.
Kimemia has been hounded out off the corridors of power and like many Kenyans who find themselves in such situations, venturing into politics has always been a solace.
If Kimemia, who has roots in Kiambu county but family migrated to Nyandarua decides to go for the seat, it will complicate matters to current governor Daniel Waithaka.
Kimemia may not be popular with the common voter due to what is said to be his social lifestyle. He is accused of not being in touch with commoners and never helping Nyandarua residents when in need.
Kimemia is said to have practised nepotism by helping his own family and friends from Nyandarua land awarded lucrative government tenders and even employed his own in plum positions.
During the burial of his father, the ceremony was poorly attended and even Uhuru Kenyatta skipped the event. This is despite the fact that Kimemia had told his friends Uhuru was to attend.
Locals we interviewed said even if Kimemia decides to go for the seat, his fortunes, made while in the civil service will cause ripples but to not his personality. They were quick to add that with his name featuring prominently in major scandals, his image is tainted, and political detractors will use it to campaign against him.
Already, political happenings are taking place in the county with Waithaka being isolated by elected leaders including MPs and MCAs.
In fact, it is said, the new alliance that has been formed by the leaders did not only target Waithaka but Kimemia also. The timing of the alliance is suspect since it only happened after Uhuru had ordered Kimemia to step aside.
It is said that initially, the MPs fearing Kimemia position in government and his money power, did not want to scheme for and block his entrance in Nyandarua politics.
However, some of the MPs who used to go for hand-outs from Kimemia decided to regroup on discovery his powerful slot and favours with State House had waned to an extent of being asked to step aside and be investigated by Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission.
To cut Kimemia and Waithaka influence in Nyandarua politics, they have formed Nyandarua Alliance 2017.
The brains behind NA 2017 are MPs John Waiganjo (Ol Joro Orok) Samuel Gichigi (Kipipiri), Stephen Mburu (Kinangop), David Kiaraho (Ol Kalou) and Waweru Nderitu (Ndaragwa).
To reach voters on the grassroots, the MPs have been holding rallies across the county directing attacks on Waithaka. At given times, they attacked Kimemia without referring to his name directly. They say certain people from the area enjoyed powerful positions but failed to help Nyandarua and question what they will do if elected governor, a position that is far below what they have held in two governments of Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta. The attack is openly directed at Kimemia.
They challenge Kimemia to invest his acquired wealth in Nyandarua to employ unemployed youth. Kimemia, to them, can start a milk processing plant or meat industry in the area.
Waithaka is accused by the MPs for not engaging in development but fleecing county coffers. A source close to woman representative Wanjiku Muhia told your favourite Weekly Citizen to the effect that she has decided not to join her colleagues upon discovery they were fronting Kiaraho as the next governor.
She also complains the MP had decided to back her opponent ahead of 2017 hence not welcomed. They have worked on a strategy where Kiaraho deputy is to come from Kipipiri or Kinangop. To lock her out, they want a woman rep not from her region but outside to balance and win voters across the county.
The MPs have worked on a programme ahead of 2017. They want to meet businessmen across the constituencies and already have engaged Ol Kalou ones. Olkalou is the hometurf of Kiaraho. Waiganjo facilitated the meeting in his Ol Joro Orok constituency.
A plot to lock Waithaka from Ol Kalou constituency which he originates from is in top gear. Kiaroho knows well Ol Kalou by virtue of having majority of votes will play a major role.
Nyandarua county governor Daniel Waithaka entered politics in 2007 when he unsuccessfully contested Ol Kalou parliamentary seat on a Mazingira Green Party of Kenya ticket. In 2013, he clinched the governorship on a TNA ticket after garnering 162,418 votes against his closest challenger David Ngugi of GNU who got 19,561 votes and Peter Mwangi of Narc who managed a paltry 55,896 votes.
Recently, he publicly clashed with several MPs and exchanged bitter words over alleged poor leadership and mismanagement of funds allocated to the county. Police had a rough time in containing the situation as supporters of both sides clashed.
At one time, a section of leaders led by members of the county assembly threatened to push for his impeachment. They accused the governor of enabling massive embezzlement of public funds. They alleged that some Sh54 million had been used to pay cartels allegedly in Israel under the guise of drawing a water master plan for the county.
Topping his campaign agenda which residents now say he has not achieved are improving governance and public administration, health, education, agriculture and livestock development, fisheries, water, tourism, trade and enterprise development and natural resource management.
His deputy Waithaka Mwangi is a private man who is hardly involved in controversial matters. Mwangi is a lawyer who once served as a magistrate in Kisii and Migori before joining politics in the late 1980s.
In 1997, he was elected MP for Kinangop and served for two terms. After losing in the 2007 general elections, Mwangi was engaged in private practice as an advocate until the 2013 elections when he was named running mate to Daniel Waithaka.
Another name that has continued to be mentioned in Nyanadarua county politics is that of former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni. He is the deputy party leader for Amani National Congress, a new political outfit formed out of Amani coalition whose party leader is Musalia Mudavadi. He served as the MP between 2007 and 2012 and was Mudavadi’s running mate in 2013 general elections.
Muriuki Karue is the Kirinyaga senator. He was the architect of the constituency development fund. He served as MP for Ol Kalou constituency between 1997 and 2007 before it was split into Oljoro Orok and Ol Kalou constituencies.
The area MPs are David Kiaraho, the MP for Ol Kalou constituency. Samuel Gichigi is the Kipipiri constituency MP. The first time MP, a lawyer, clinched the seat after he beat former Finance minister Amos Kimunya. Gichigi was elected on an Alliance Party of Kenya ticket.
Others are Wanjiku Muhia who is the Nyandarua women’s representative and a banker by profession. Waweru Nderitu is the Ndaragwa MP and a land economist by profession.
John Waiganjo is the first MP for Oljoro Orok constituency. Waiganjo, who is a lawyer by profession, is an articulate defender of Uhuru and the TNA party.
 Other former MPs in the county are Erastus Muriithi formerly MP for Ol Kalou constituency and Kimunya. Governor Waithaka’s government had once came under heavy criticism after it proposed to put up 25 ultra-modern public toilets at a cost of Sh100m. This translates into a Sh4m allocation for every toilet.