Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 18:52 EATamboleokata@gmail.com
With only eight months left to go before the country holds the 2017 general elections, the Nakuru County gubernatorial race has already taken shape in what is termed to be the battle of the three titans. Incumbent Governor Kinuthia Mbugua will have an uphill task in defending his seat and avoid going down the history books as a one term governor. Mr Mbugua who was overwhelmingly voted in 2013 has somewhat lost favour with the electorate, the sole cause being unfulfilled promises.
Mr Mbugua's biggest challengers in the 2017 race will be former NACADA boss John Mututho and former NTSA boss Lee Kinyanjui. Both Mututho and Kinyanjui are former members of parliament for Naivasha and Nakuru town constituencies respectively. Both Mr Mututho andMr Kinyajui are pegging their hopes of ousting Mr Mbugua on the three major things which include: Unfulfilled campaign promises, exaggerated wage bill, corruption and underdevelopment. The three undoubtedly have a sizeable following within the county and will be running on a jubilee party ticket which is the dominant party in Nakuru.
In the 2013 elections Mr Mututho and Mr Kinyanjui run against Mr Mbugua but lost at the nominations stage for the then TNA party. Mr Mbugua, who is a former Administration Police commandant, is however defending his development record saying that his first five years in office cannot be enough to execute all that he promised, arguing that he was laying a foundation for what he intends to accomplish in his second term. Mbugua's political troubles started when he declined to implement the county assembly special committee report which recommended the sacking of county secretary Joseph Motari over the illegal hiring of county staff.
Politicians and Civil society groups held demonstrations to push him into implementing the report but he would have none of that. To add on his troubles, Mr Mbugua seems to have fallen out with almost all the eleven members of parliament from the county with his only friend being Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri. Word on the streets has it that Mr Mbugua also lost favour with statehouse and that operatives at the house on the hill are doing all they can to see him exit the political scene.
On their part, Mr Mututho and Mr Kinyajui are bragging to be the better replacement of Mr Mbugua, but there have been calls for them joining forces to enhance their chances of removing Mr Mbugua from office. The argument is that if both run they are likely to split the votes something that will hand Mr Mbugua some easy and outright victory at the jubilee party nominations stage.
The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County