NEW PARTY

He likened the Tanga Tanga group with a scenario in 1978 where Mwai Kibaki, Charles Njonjo and GG Kariuki supported Daniel Moi, who ruled for 24 years, blindly.

Mr Wa Iria, who was the only governor to be re-elected in the region, has registered a political party that has since presented itself as 'Wanjiku’s' attorney by prosecuting policies that are ‘oppressive’ to the electorate.

The party known as Civic Renewal Party, registered by Mr Iria’s handlers, has been recruiting members in and outside Mt Kenya region.

Mr Wa Iria, who uses a popular slogan (No Wira Tu), meaning work only, has following in the region due to his massive grassroots support and social economic empowerment programmes that have uplifted the living standards of the locals and subsequent completion of Murang’a Cooperative Creameries - which has seen delegation from neighbouring counties trooping for benchmarking.

Governor Waiguru - who is serving her first term - rides with her experience in governance and leadership after serving at the Treasury before joining the Devolution ministry.

WAIGURU

Ms Waiguru could be hoping to deputise Dr Ruto after he hinted that he is likely to be deputised by a woman on measures of equipping and supporting women grow in leadership.

Ms Waiguru is in the league of the only three governors in Kenya. And being the only in Mt Kenya, she stands to gain should Dr Ruto decide to ‘return a hand’ to central Kenya.

Her close allies describe her as a leader with the ability to mobilise and lobby as demonstrated in the recent devolution conference in Kirinyaga County.

“Despite her being new in office, Ms Waiguru has demonstrated resilience, a quality for [a] great leader who is able to lead in Mt Kenya region, given that she has an understanding of both government and politics,” Josiah Kamande told the Nation.

Ms Waiguru told the Nation that the Mt Kenya kingpin will be determined by party politics and that the gender factor, specifically female leaders, will be a key objective for Jubilee Party.

“Even as I note that there is no vacuum in the kingship of this region, when the time comes the elections of our party will be a key determinant on the region’s kingpin and Mr Kenyatta’s successor,” she said.

CLEAN SHEET

Mr Peter Kenneth has also been identified as a potential kingpin, with his political experience and connections working for him.

Mr Kenneth is one of the sponsors of team Kieleweke - which is opposed to Dr Ruto - and is a close friend of the President.

His financial muscle, experience in governance and the fact that he has never been associated with any scandal makes Gatanga MP Nduati Ngugi see him as the best kingpin in the region.

“He has served as Kenya Football Federation (KFF), assistant minister for various departments including Treasury and Cooperative and has vied for presidency - the experience that makes him the best to represent central Kenya on any negotiations table,” Mr Nduati said.

KENNETH MISLED

But Mr Gachagua said Mr Kenneth’s association with the Kieleweke team is hurting his ambitions.

“The same people of Kieleweke lied to him about Nairobi’s governorship race in 2017. He should dissociate himself with the group and campaign directly,” said the Mathira MP.

On Mr Kiunjuri’s candidature for the top job, he said the minister needs to first demonstrate what he has done for the region.

“Kiunjuri is the Agriculture CS yet our tea and coffee farmers are crying, and he is resolving sugar issues. He needs to tell Mt Kenya people what he has done for them before seeking the top seat,” Mr Gachagua adds.

Additional reporting by Wanjohi Githae

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