48 HOURS OF ANXIETY as Jubilee strongmen, women square it out in primaries
The Jubilee Party nominations set for Friday, April 21 will see several top contenders face off especially in the much coveted gubernatorial seat that has attracted political heavyweights from regions seen as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s strongholds.
Jubilee is under pressure to deliver free, fair and credible nominations even as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has suffered turbulence in conducting its primaries.
The ODM party has been forced to nullify nominations in some areas including Busia and council others following massive claims of irregularities.
The Jubilee Party will be facing its biggest litmus test to deliver credible primaries and avoid any possible fallouts after the nominations.
Key President Kenyatta and DP Ruto allies will square it out with some counties attracting as many as five contestants for the gubernatorial posts.
In Embu County, incumbent Martin Wambora will square it out with Runyenjes Member of Parliament, Cecily Mbarire. The ultimate flag bearer will face off with Senator Lenny Kivuti who will be contesting on a Maendeleo Chap Chap Party ticket.
In Nyandarua, seven candidates including former Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service, Francis Kimemia, will be seeking to dislodge the incumbent, Daniel Waithaka, who will be seeking the Jubilee ticket to defend his seat.
Nyeri Governor, Samuel Wamathai – who succeed the late Governor Nderitu Gachagua – will faceoff with Senator Mutahi Kagwe, who is largely seen to command a large following – and businessman Gakuru Wahome and Evanson Kinyanjui in the Friday, April 21 nominations.
Former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Anne Mumbi Waiguru, will be seeking to edge out the incumbent, Joseph Ndathi, Kirinyaga Central Member of Parliament, Joseph Gitari, and businessman Ngige Wanjau.
Nandi County, which is DP William Ruto’s stronghold, has attracted nine contenders all eyeing the Jubilee Party ticket.
Among those seeking to carry the day include the incumbent Cleophas Lagat, former ODM National Chairman, Henry Kosgey, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Felix Kosgey, and Senator Stephen Sang among others.
In Laikipia, the incumbent, Joshua Irungu, will be seeking to retain his dominance in the county when the President’s party conducts nominations on Friday. He will faceoff with former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Thuita Mwangi, who was left out of government appointments following allegations of impropriety during his tenure as the PS.
Irungu’s deputy, Gitonga Kabugi, will also be seeking the Jubilee nomination alongside two other candidates.
In Nakuru, three political heavyweights, Kinuthia Mbugua (the incumbent), former NACADA chair, John Mututho, and former National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) chairman, Lee Kinyanjui, will be contesting for the Jubilee ticket.
In Bomet, National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Joyce Laboso, will faceoff with veteran politician Julius Kones and Stephen Mutai, all of whom are aiming at dislodging Governor Isaac Ruto of the Chama Cha Mashinani, which has officially joined the opposition – National Super Alliance (NASA).
Muranga County will also see the incumbent, Mwangi Wa Iria, faceoff with his fierce critic, Kigumo Member of Parliament, Jamleck Kamau, and businessman Moses Ndungu.
Nairobi will also be among the most hotly contested seats with flamboyant Senator Gidion Kioko Mbuvi, alias Mike Sonko, facing off with former Gatanga Legislator and 2013 Presidential candidate, Peter Kenneth, and former Starehe Lawmaker, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.
Jubilee Party Secretary General, Raphael Tuju, and President Kenyatta have assured of free, fair and credible nominations saying that the party has no favourites and whoever wins the nominations will be supported by those who lose.
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