UhuRuto showdown as Kiambaa and Muguga go to the polls
On Thursday, polls opened for the Kiambaa Parliamentary seat and the Muguga Ward seat, in what observers believe is a do-or-die battle for the soul of Mt Kenya politics.
The two polls have captured national attention, with the country watching intently as two former political brothers compete for supremacy.
Voters began arriving at voting stations as early as 6 a.m., eager to settle the debate and possibly set the tone for the 2022 General Elections.
On a national scale, according to pundits, the campaigns pit President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party against his Deputy William Ruto’s UDA party, making the heated contests a two-horse race.
The jostling to gain ground ahead of the 2022 election is at the heart of the heated political duel, with the splintered Jubilee party eager to prove it is still the political juggernaut it was in 2017.
Jubilee intensified its campaigns in Kiambaa and Muguga ahead of the mini-elections, possibly as a result of the losses in the May by-elections in Juja, Kiambu, Rurii, and Nyandarua.
Githinji Mung’ara of Jubilee will face off against Kamau Thumbi of UDA in Muguga ward.
While Kariri Njaama of Jubilee (Jubilee) will face Njuguna Wanjiku of UDA in Kiambaa (UDA).
A day to the polls, Jubilee was forced to issue a statement after widespread reports that its candidate had pulled out of the race.
In a statement, Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju accused their competitors of resorting to archaic propaganda gimmicks after sensing defeat.
Another victory for the UDA in Kiambaa and Muguga will be another feather in DP Ruto’s cap as he vies for the country’s top job.
A victory will provide much-needed wind beneath UDA’s wing, especially given that it is already widely believed that Uhuru will not support his deputy in 2022.
Another loss in Uhuru’s backyard will be another wound, evidence that his hold on the vote-rich region is weakening as his term comes to an end.
“Tumeamua Kiambaa ni Kariri Njamba, chama ni Jubilee, rais ni Uhuru na sisi ndio wenye kura,” Peter Mwathi, the Limuru MP said on Saturday.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny expressed confidence that Jubilee would win, stating that the electorate would support the party they have known for the past six years.
“Watu wetu wamekamata wamesema nyumba ambayo imejengwa hailaliki wamezoea nyumba ambayo wameishi kwa zaidi ya miaka sita,” Kuttuny said.
Meanwhile, UDA-allied MPs say victory in both elections is a matter of when, not if.
“We have confidence with IEBC because they conducted the Rurii and Juja by-election very well,” Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said.
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