December 13th 2017

Top Stories / National

In Jubilee primaries, Nyeri voters used 2007 playbook in punishing non-performing MPs

Like in 2007, all incumbents have lost except for Kanini Kega of Kieni. Gachagua Rigathi, brother to recently-departed Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua, beat the current member of parliament Peter Weru while political activist Wambugu Ngunijiri beat the incumbent Esther Murugi in Nyeri Town.

By Reuben Gitahigitahireuben@gmail.comMonday, 01 May 2017 15:31 EAT

(L-R): MPs Mary Wambui, Kanini Kega and Ndungu Githinji at a past press conference.

In 2007, voters in the larger Nyeri District (today's Nyeri County), decided to change all of the region's members of parliament except for the Othaya legislator who was then the president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.

The 2007 line up included: Nemesyus Warugongo who floored the once-burly and powerful internal minister Chris Murungaru in Kieni, the Maverick Kabando wa Kabando (who deposed cabinet minister Mutahi Kagwe) in Mukuruweini, and Ephraim Maina who deposed Nderitu Gachagua in Mathira. Francis Nyamo unsut the late Nobel Laureate Wangare Mathai in Tetu, while Esther Murugu defeated P.G Muriithi for the Nyeri Town seat.

Fast forward 10 years later and all the incumbents have lost except for Kanini Kega, the legislator for Kieni in the just concluded Jubilee Party primaries. In Mathira, Gachagua Rigathi, brother to recently-departed Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua, beat the current member of parliament Peter Weru while political activist Wambugu Ngunijiri beat the incumbent Esther Murugi in Nyeri Town.

In the former president Mwai Kibaki’s Othaya constituency that was represented by Mary Wambui, James Mugambi Gichuki was declared the winner. In Tetu, National Assembly’s defense and foreign relations committee chairperson Ndungu Githenji was beaten by a newcomer Mwangi Gichuhi while Anthony Githiaka Kiai ousted the firebrand Kabando wa Kabando in Mukurweini.

While the Jubilee Party primaries were not a general election, winning the party's ticket in Central Kenya puts the aspirants on pole position to claim the seats in a general election.

The writer is an experienced journalist, lecturer and researcher based in Nairobi





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