Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru have traded words over allocation of 28,000 acre South- Ngariama ranch as campaigns for the Kirinyaga governorship seat intensified.
The two candidates have already been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to contest the August elections.
Ms Karua denied that she benefited from the allocations of the ranch and accused Ms Waiguru, who is the Jubilee flag-bearer for the gubernatorial seat, of peddling falsehoods as a ploy to attract political sympathy.
“I am not a beneficiary of the ranch. I do not need land this time and if I do, I can buy it because I am capable. My rival is sensing defeat and that is why she is spreading lies to get support from voters,” Ms Karua told hundreds of residents at Gathuthuma village.
Ms Karua dismissed Ms Waiguru as a stranger who does not know the region well.
“She recently ran to area from Nairobi following the National Youth Service scandal. She does not know anything about the region and that is why she is falsely linking me to the ranch transactions,” she said.
The Narc Kenya leader told Ms Waiguru to first clear her name in the NYS scandal before seeking to be the governor of the region.
“I have never been involved in any scandal and I am challenging my rival to tell the residents whether she has been cleared from the NYS scandal,” said Ms Karua in reference to Ms Waiguru.
She said the region required a “clean” leader to be able to fight corruption and spur economic growth.
The candidate described herself as an experienced leader having been the Gichugu MP for 20 years and also served as a Minister in President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.
Ms Waiguru has in her campaigns been asking Ms Karua to withdraw from the race over the controversial allocation of the ranch.
She accused Ms Karua and her relatives of benefiting from the ranch, which was meant for the poor.
“Ms Karua influenced the sub-division and allocations of the ranch. She was also allocated a piece of land together with her relatives and she should stop claiming to be holier than me,” said Ms Waiguru.
The former CS also accused Ms Karua’s running mate Gachoki Gitari of being involved in the ranch issue as he was awarded tender to survey and sub-divide the land.
In a rejoinder Mr Gitari told Ms Waiguru to carry her own cross and stop linking her rivals to non-existent scandals.