Some former powerful figures in retired President Kibaki’s administration, who had almost been consigned to political oblivion have made a comeback.
Among the notable figures are former Cabinet Ministers Amos Kimunya and Njeru Ndwiga plus Kibaki’s nephew Ndiritu Muriithi and former Party of National Unity leader Jeremiah Kioni. Former Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara, is also back. Kimunya has returned to Parliament to represent the people of Kipipiri, five years after he was ousted.
When he lost in 2013, an angry Kimunya wrote an open letter to the residents lamenting how they had disgracefully treated him “despite my sterling development record.”
But when the results were announced yesterday, Kimunya triumphed by garnering 30,663 votes against his closest challenger Raphael Njoroge who polled 11,946 votes. Kimunya was an instrumental member of the Kibaki government surviving a career threatening motion moved by the then Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale.
Since he lost, Kimunya has maintained a low profile and many believe that it is his development record that enabled him to recapture the seat. Also making a grand comeback is former Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia who was overwhelmingly voted as the new Nyandarua governor.
In Embu, Ndwiga, former Cooperative minister in the Kibaki administration, captured the senatorial seat having been consigned to the cold by voters few years ago. Ndwiga was leading his closest opponent Alexander Munyi with over 40,000 votes.
Mr Kioni has also made an impressive return to politics. He had been elected Ndaragwa MP in 2007 when PNU, which was Kibaki’s party, swept most seats in Central. But In 2013, Kioni was on the losing side after he chose to be Musalia Mudavadi’s running mate over supporting Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency.
However in results announced yesterday, he bounced back with an overwhelming majority polling 30,668 against his rival Waweru Nderitu who got 10,352 votes. Kioni has been in the political cold together with Muriithi, a former assistant minister in the Kibaki government. But Muriithi has captured the Laikipia gubernatorial race as an independent in a closely contested poll.
Madam Kihara, the former Naivasha MP, who controversially lost it in the 2007 General Election, recaptured it after garnering 83, 573 votes against Solomon’s Ndegwa’s 25, 821.