This man Senator Njoroge and his ‘wild’ remarks on DP Ruto’s ambitions

This man Senator Njoroge and his 'wild' remarks on DP Ruto's ambitions

He has ruffled feathers especially with his Jubilee Coalition ever since he hit out at leaders from Central Kenya after a section of them cursed him for warning Deputy President William Ruto against assumption that he would automatically get the region’s backing in the 2022 General Election.

Paul Njoroge Ben, a Senator nominated on The National Alliance (TNA) party ticket to represent Persons with Disability, has been on the receiving end from his colleagues after he trashed the premise that Ruto would get the full support of the Mt Kenya region electorate come 2022.

When I interviewed him at his View Park Towers office in Nairobi, the businessman cum politician, held on to his position saying that focusing on the 2022 polls without first dispensing the 2017 test is an insincere move and a recipe for chaos.

“Some MPs from Central Kenya have turned Ruto into a cash-cow and are promising him too much. We are not done with 2017 yet,” said the Senator.

“This ‘giving Ruto’ talk is marginalizing other communities in the country. Let’s give other communities a chance. DP Ruto will have to be compared with other candidates who will be hoping to succeed Uhuru.”

But Senator Njoroge says he did not start his alleged attacks on the Uhuru succession after Kiambu Governor William Kabogo was also linked to similar sentiments refuting a guaranteed backing for Ruto in the 2022 poll. The TNA legislator says he has been preaching the same gospel on vernacular radio stations for a long time.

“I’m not a spoiler!” Was his reaction on whether he fears the political backlash, especially from his Naivasha backyard and Jubilee counterparts. “I will campaign for Uhuru come 2017, I am very proud of him.”

Njoroge joined politics in 1989 through the post-independent party –  KANU, after forming the Maraiguchu Youth Group in Naivasha. He later joined the Democratic Party (DP) that was then headed by former President Mwai Kibaki. He contested for the Naivasha Constituency seat in the 1992 election but lost, prompting him to return to KANU to campaign for the re-election of then President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.

He was later to conduct maintenance business with Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi before heading the Njiru Slaughter House and later joining presidential campaigns for Uhuru Kenyatta in the North Rift in 2002. In the same year, he lost yet again in the Naivasha Parliamentary seat contest.

During the 2005 referendum campaign to change the country’s constitution, he campaigned for the ‘NO’ camp after being part of the Consultative Forum. In 2007, he campaigned for Mwai Kibaki’s re-election as head of state in the contested poll.

He joined Musalia Mudavadi’s UDP party in 2011 before jumping ship to Uhuru’s TNA party to head the disability wing. After Uhuru’s win in 2013, he was nominated to the Senate to represent Persons with Disability, a position he says he has utilized well and championed for the Persons with Disability (Amendment) Bill 2013, which is still at the National Assembly level.

“Unfortunately, the National Assembly has sat on the Bill and my efforts to push the MPs to pass it have not brought forth any success.”

However, he feels he has achieved a lot as a member of the Finance and Budget, ICT and Labor committees.

Njoroge, who is currently a Bachelor of Business student at the University of Nairobi, has vehemently denied claims that his campaign against Ruto’s 2022 presidency is not financed by the opposition.

“That is madness of the highest order, nobody’s behind me. I’m concerned that if 2022 doesn’t work for DP Ruto as he is being promised, we are creating an avenue for chaos. We cannot elect based on fear.”

So what is his post-2017 political plan after his Senate nomination term ends?

“I’m also eyeing a running-mate position come 2022 but I’m yet to choose who I will partner with and which party.”

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