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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 26 April 2015

Realignment in Nakuru politics drag governor’s name into murk

Key political players in the Nakuru county politics are realigning themselves ahead of the next general elections.
Interested politicians, especially those in the gubernatorial seat have started in earnest selling their policies in the region’s populous areas to test the waters.
Local areas considered to be having a higher number of voters in the county are Nakuru town which has two constituencies, Naivasha comprising of Naivasha and Gilgil constituencies and Molo with the inclusive of Njoro constituency onto it.
Political forums in these areas of the county have lately attracted new and seasoned political operatives who are keen on making a stab at the county governorship position come the next elections.
Unfolding events indicate that some of the county MPs and MCAs including local opinion leaders are fronting individuals some of whom are local businessmen notwithstanding the incumbent Kinuthia Mbugua’s popularity in the region.
Despite that Mbugua currently has a massive backing from the common citizens, veteran politicians, the civil society and businessmen within the region, MPs,  MCAs and other leaders of different opinion have been quietly selling the other prospective entrants at political forums.
Some of them have on occasions given out contributions at fund raisers and other functions with word that the money is purportedly sent by the probable gubernatorial seat contenders.
Impeccable sources have though confirmed that a number of those supporting incumbent Governor Mbugua are reportedly busy shopping for a new running mate due to rumours that the current deputy governor Joseph Rutto could be going for the Kuresoi South parliamentary seat in the coming general elections; a fact the deputy governor has since denied.
Conscious of the fact that Nakuru has traditionally held the reputation as a hotbed of Kenyan politics may be due to its cosmopolitan environment, Mbugua’s supporters are reportedly reaching out to other communities and have brought on board MPs, MCAs and former councillors plus other political aspirants from diverse ethnic groups on board.
Key strategists behind the Kinuthia camp are said to be local communities elders and especially those allied to the Jubilee government.
The elders’ group has been holding a series of public and indoor forums to educate the electorate on the need to co-exist harmoniously in the cosmopolitan county, which has borne a fair share of the brunt visited by the 2007/8 ethnic skirmishes in the region.
The team, according to our source, has lined up for any Naivasha resident to be Mbugua’s running mate while indicating that they would be backing a Nakuru town resident for the seat of senator and other regions to get other county seats.
Governor Mbugua is perceived to be a Molo resident, his deputy Joseph Rutto comes from Kuresoi as the county elected senator James Mungai is a Naivasha dweller.
If the current scenario is anything to go by, it is expected by many that at the next general elections, the county governors’ slot could revolve around the incumbent, Lee Kinyanjui, Francis Kimemia and one of the country’s private universities proprietor who is the latest entrant in the lineup.
Although time will tell, Mbugua’s proponents assert that he is the right candidate for a re-election as he is both revered and respected due to his articulate nature, transparency and fairness in dealing with the region’s electorate.

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