Palpable tension is building up in Kirinyaga where two influential women rivals are battling for the county’s top job ahead of Deputy President William Ruto’s visit on Sunday.
First-term Governor Anne Waiguru and Woman Representative Purity Ngirici are engaged in a vicious supremacy contest.
UDA insiders fear the ill will could lead to one of the contenders pulling out of the DP’s camp in protest.https://36f0e20dc3ffceb7714f8bc264009f9d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The DP is not expected to show any favouritism.
Ngirici, a founding member of the wheelbarrow party, is already reading betrayal after reportedly spending a fortune to popularise the Ruto party.
I have stood with our people and I therefore do not need to mobilise them to cheer me on so I please or show the DP that I am popular.
Ngirici is getting cosy with powerful Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, a man seen to be the favourite in the handshake team.
The woman representative is now defending the PS against attacks from Waiguru and the Tangatanga brigade.
In an interview with the Star, the MP said she is aware Waiguru is heavily mobilising troops for Sunday to show that she has the people.
“I have stood with our people and I therefore do not need to mobilise them to come and cheer me on so that I please or show the DP that I am popular,” she said.
She said, however, she will attend the Sunday events, a church service and rallies. She emphasised the DP would be “accorded respect and a warm reception”.
But Waiguru fired back, saying she will not bow to what she called intimidation from Ngirici, simply because she joined UDA after she did.
She said UDA is a national political party and should not be treated like personal property.
“This is politics and you can’t mistreat me because of my late entry. As a matter of fact, you have no say as far as elective seats are concerned — the electorate does.
“After all, isn’t it captured in the parables of the Good Book that those who arrived early and late received the same payment?” Waiguru asked.
Ruto was set to make several stops in Kirinyaga county last week as he drove to Nairobi from his long tour of Upper Eastern.
The visit was cancelled after intelligence warned of tension in the county.
Ruto was accompanied by Waiguru in his last function in Mt Kenya West.
However, Ngirici has reportedly vowed to stick to her own political campaigns and skip Ruto’s presidential campaigns.
A once-common face in Ruto’s political activities, Ngirici has kept off Ruto since the DP received Waiguru on October 26.
The county MP, who has the backing of her husband Andrew, stood with Ruto in opposing the botched Building Bridges Initiative, which was supported by Waiguru.
Just last week, and in the presence of the DP, Waiguru called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Kibicho for the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison break. Three terrorism-linked convicts escaped but were recaptured.
The governor said Kirinyaga had other qualified individuals to take up the position.
But hours later, Ngirici fired back, telling Waiguru to keep off Kibicho.
Andrew has been at the forefront in campaigning for his wife who wants to defeat Waiguru in the 2020 general election.
In his Monday address to boda boda riders taking a safety training course in Kerugoya, Andrew, who has a massive influence on the riders, urged them to show up in large numbers at the DP’s rally on Sunday in Kirinyaga.
“On the 28th [Sunday], we expect the DP in Kirinyaga. I therefore want all of you to show up and show support to the DP and our candidate Wangui Ngirici,” he said.
His sentiments come a few weeks after Kibicho authorised county commissioner Jim Njoka to crack down on all political vigilante groups being formed by politicians countrywide.
Andrew further called on them to vote in his wife Wangui, whom he praised for her ‘transformative’ leadership.
He has since unveiled aggressive campaigns criss-crossing all sub-counties and has even branded their Kerugoya-based office with UDA slogans and colours.
Courtesy The Star