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It’s a three-horse race for the Kirinyaga senate seat

The stage has been set for the Kirinyaga senatorial race that has narrowed down to a three-horse contest.

This battle will between the incumbent Daniel Karaba, Thika Greens managing director Charles Kibiru, who is running as an independent candidate, as well as Mr Dishon Kirima of Narc Kenya.

Mr Kibiru faced off with Senator Karaba during the April Jubilee Party primaries but lost by a narrow margin.

CHALLENGE
Dissatisfied with the nominations results, Mr Kibiru vowed to remain in the race till the very end and registered himself as an independent candidate.

It will, therefore, be interesting to see, Mr Kibiru, a gifted orator, and Mr Kirima take on the political heavyweight.

But Senator Karaba should particularly look over his shoulders for Mr Kibiru, who is a crowd puller in the region.

VOTERS
Mr Kibiru, on the other hand, has the money and support.

He has managed to convince voters in both Ndia and Kirinyaga Central to unite behind his bid.

He has also wooed electorate in Mwea to elect him on Tuesday next week.

The three constituencies have more than 250,000 out of Kirinyaga’s 350,000 voters.

UNITY
Those who lost during the Jubilee primaries have rallied behind him. His campaign was also boosted by teachers who have joined in.

In his campaigns, Mr Kibiru is capitalising on disunity among the local leaders to win majority votes.

He observes that due to lack of unity, the county has lagged behind in development.

He promises to bring all leaders together to restore the county’s lost glory once he is elected.

“Disunity among leaders has hampered development and I believe that I have the ability to prevail upon the leaders to come together and build our county,” he said.

DEVELOPMENT
Mr Kibiru also blames slow pace of development on Senator Karaba whom he accuses of failing in his oversight role.

“He was not able to effectively play his oversight role properly at the county level and that is why many development projects meant to benefit the residents were not implemented,” Mr Kibiru said.

He reiterated that a senator is like the chairman of a board while the governor is chief executive.

MPs, on the other hand, he says, are chairpersons of a board committee.

2007 LOSS
Mr Kibiru argued that the county needed a courageous and strong Senator who can take on the governor.

Senator Karaba was first elected to Parliament on a Narc Kenya ticket in 2002.

His re-election in 2007 was however marred by controversy where he narrowly lost to John Ngata Kariuki, the younger brother of former spy chief James Kanyotu.

PERFORMER
He then successfully petitioned the High Court but he lost the subsequent by-election to the then little-known, Gachoki Gitari.

Now being nicknamed baba (father) due to his experience in politics, Senator Karaba, a former secondary school principal, dismisses his rivals as non-starters.

“There is no way they can defeat me in a fair election,” he says while denying that he was a non-performer.

“Those claiming that I did not deliver as a senator are lying. They should not be taken seriously.”

CONTEST
Senator Karaba told his rivals to brace themselves for a tough political duel.

“I’m a force to reckon with and I’m ready to fight it out with my opponents.”

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