With less than 50 days to the General Election, seven candidates in the Juja parliamentary race are still wooing the 115,324 voters.
They claim to be the right individuals to lead the vast constituency that has, for many years, grappled with a poor road network, land issues and water shortages.
Residents have previously demonstrated over the poor state of the roads, which are dusty in the dry season and inaccessible when it rains, complaining that it is a major contributor to the slow pace of development and also affects prompt sale of their farm produce.
A public hearing organised by the National Lands Commission (NLC) aimed at recovering all grabbed public land in Kiambu County revealed that some of the major past land injustices in the region occurred in Juja.
Former powerful pre-colonial chiefs allegedly grabbed public land meant for roads, police stations, polytechnics and markets, among other utilities, some of which was sold to unsuspecting buyers.
The situation left Juja with limited space for a market and a proper public service vehicles terminus, making the town congested with human and vehicular traffic.
“Historical land injustices have rendered Juja devoid of public land,” area MP Francis Munyua Waititu alias Wakapee said during the public hearing.
“We are positive that (NLC chairman Dr Muhammad) Swazuri will help to restore public land in the area once and for all.
“It’s quite unfortunate that even the public land behind Juja Police Station is now owned by an individual.”
Mr Waititu has been accused of doing little to improve roads and water supply.
Those who want to oust him include Mr Anthony Kirori Ndung’u of Maendeleo Chap Chap, PNU’s Lucas Chege Mwaura, Mr George Koimbori (Farmers Party), Ms Dorcas Wanjiru Chege (Narc-Kenya’), Mr David Mwangi Kuria (Agano Party) and independent candidate Kariuki Chege Mwangi.
In a recent campaign schedules harmonisation meeting, several candidates told the Nation that the seat attracted many aspirants from outside Jubilee Party as they feared being rigged out during the nominations that saw Mr Waititu declared the winner.
“I shifted from Jubilee Party to the Farmers Party, but my heart and blood is in the Jubilee Party,” Mr Koimbori, who in 2013 made a stab at the Theta Ward seat in the constituency, said.
He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Jubilee Party leader, not to interfere with grassroots politics so that the people can freely elect their local leaders.
Mr Koimbori pledged inclusivity in his leadership.
Mr Mwaura has promised transformational leadership and accused Mr Waititu of fighting his rivals’ projects.
Juja politics has generally been peaceful but, of late, cases of candidates’ posters being destroyed or obstructed have been reported.