Race for Molo parliamentary seat a contest of KU alumni

Former Kenyatta University Students Association (Kusa) leader Maryann Njambi Mugo is eager to claim the Molo parliamentary seat in the August 8 General Election.

And as the polls date inches closer, Ms Njambi, 33, who is vying on a Kanu ticket, believes she has what it takes to clinch the seat.

KU ALUMNI
In reality however, it will not be a walk in the park for the Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing option) degree holder as she faces another youthful candidate, Mr Francis Kuria Kimani, popularly known as KK, who is eyeing the seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.

Interestingly, Ms Njambi, Mr Kimani and the incumbent, Mr Jacob Macharia, are all former students of Kenyatta University (KU), making the race a contest of KU alumni.

AGRICULTURE
Mr Kuria, 28, a front runner for the seat on the basis of Jubilee’s popularity in the constituency, is a resident of Mukinyai in Sachang’wan and promises to step up representation of the residents in the National Assembly.

Top on his priority list is to boost agriculture by initiating value addition in maize, potato and pyrethrum.

“I will ensure we have enough cold storage rooms for potatoes so that farmers can have a strong bargaining power instead of the current situation in which farmers are forced to sell their produce to brokers at a throw-away price of Sh1,000 for a 50kg bag,” Mr Kuria said.

FINANCE MANAGER
Other issues he promises to address during his tenure, if elected, include revamping women and youth enterprise fund, infrastructure, settlement of Integrated Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Elburgon, illicit brews and unequal distribution of resources, especially the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Mr Kuri, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree and a master’s degree in business management from Strathmore University, once served as finance manager for Africa region for Maryknoll and Brothers, a church-based non-governmental organisation, and secretary of the board of the Catholic Church’s Waumini Savings and Credit Cooperative Society.

NOMINATION LOSS
Many would have expected Mr Macharia, who bit the dust during the Jubilee nominations, to throw in the towel after he was humiliated in the controversial party primaries.

On the contrary, Mr Macharia, whose performance in the House and his development record seems to be his main undoing, remained adamant and did not accept the defeat.

INDEPENDENT

Attempt by the Jubilee election board to give Mr Macharia the ticket backfired as youths barricaded roads in Molo and demanded that Mr Kuria be awarded the certificate.

Mr Macharia, a first-time MP, will now run as an independent.

WOMAN MP

On her part, Ms Njambi is already causing jitters in the Jubilee camp and emissaries have been sent through the council of elders to prevail upon her to step down in favour of the Jubilee candidate.

Ms Njambi, who is making her first attempt, considers herself a favourite going into the race as she hopes the two other candidates, who are both allied to Jubilee, will split their votes.

“I am determined to claim the seat. It would be great if I become the first woman MP for Molo and the first youth to capture the seat that has been dominated by seasoned politicians,” she said.

EDUCATION
She said top on her service list is the revival of the ailing pyrethrum sector, potato farming, infrastructure, water and youth and women empowerment.

“Agriculture is the mainstay of Molo and since agriculture is a devolved function, I will collaborate with the county government to give it a boost by involving the youths,” she added.

She would also pay attention to education, particularly in marginalised parts of the constituency such as Marioshoni.

JOBS
As a trade expert who worked with multi-national companies such as Coca Cola, Ms Njambi said she will use this experience to revive the Jua Kali sector to create employment for the youth and fight runaway poverty.

“This is the only means of finding an end to the kind of desperation, poverty and frustration that I see in young people in Molo.”

She said it is ironical that the country is facing a serious food shortage while Molo is regarded as a food basket.

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