Residents of Mairo Inya township in Ndaragwa protest along the streets against alleged rigging out of Ndaragwa MP Waweru Ndiritu.Former MP Jeremiah Kioni was declared the winner and the residents now want the results nullified. PHOTO BY JAMES MUNYEKI
Scores of leaders in Mt Kenya region who lost in the just concluded Jubilee Party primaries plan to vie as independent candidates.
Sunday Standard has established that plans are afoot to form an Association of Independent Candidates (AIC) that would bring together all independent candidates.
The plan, which has already been mooted among the MPs, aspiring governors, senators and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) involves campaigning together.
The disgruntled aspirants claim that they were rigged out in a wider scheme orchestrated by a senior government official.
The aspirants are accusing Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri of allegedly interfering with Jubilee nominations in Mt Kenya region.
Mr Kiunjuri however, denied the claims saying his focus is on campaigning for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Negotiate a stake
Yesterday, the CS accused the losers of trying to drag his name “in their failures and seek relevance.”
“These people are just looking for relevance and I am not ready to engage them. I have been away in South Africa for the past three weeks and I have not been anywhere near Nyeri or Laikipia or indeed Mt Kenya region,” said Kiunjuru.
The CS spoke as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Tetu castigating him for allegedly interfering with the nominations in Nyeri.
According to sources familiar with the on-going talks to form the group, the team will also be campaigning for the re-election of President Kenyatta.
According to reliable sources, the CS engineered massive defeat of experienced politicians so as to create a post-Uhuru political fiefdom.
Sources said the nomination losers plan to launch a movement of independent aspirants that will see them campaign together for a common cause.
Several injured as Buzeki attacked
“It will involve us visiting the constituencies of each member and helping them to spread the message that this political homicide of experienced leaders will eventually hurt Mt Kenya region,” said an insider in the movement.
“We shall tell the voters to look at all possible scenarios when Kenyatta exits. As a community, shall we have credible leaders to negotiate a stake in the next dispensation? They will have full disclosure so that we are not led down the garden path to be violated,” said the member.
Among the big names that lost in Central Kenya are MPs, Jamleck Kamau, Ndung’u Gethenji, Kabando wa Kabando, Esther Murugi, Njogu Barua, Gitari Gachoki.
Others are Senators Kembi Gitura and Mutahi Kagwe.
Mr Kamau, who lost to Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria dismissed the nomination as a sham and indicated that he might run as an independent.
“There were so many flaws in that exercise, I’m consulting my people so that I make my next move but you can be assured am not appealing,” he said.
Mr Gethenji also said he was still consulting Tetu people on his next political move arguing he had won the nominations.
According to the insiders, the massive routing of experienced leaders in Central region had everything to do with the machinations of the senior Cabinet Secretary.
He allegedly financed opponents and coordinated propaganda against outgoing legislators, which gave their competitors a head start in the primaries, which appear to have achieved the desired results.
The losers claim that the plan was to massively rig the primaries under the initial plan to hold them in a single day.
During the repeat primaries, the group claims there was massive rigging and some candidates stuffed ballot boxes with ballot papers and took them to polling stations through covert ways while in some instances polling officials and agents were bought into silence.
But it is the propaganda targeted against certain candidates that is said to have succeeded in putting strong incumbents at a disadvantage only weeks after they had been seen as hard to beat.
One of the areas being cited is Kiambu County where the incumbent William Kabogo spent his last two weeks fighting propaganda war against his personality.
At the end of the day, Kabogo lost to Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu despite the fact that within the month a much-publicised opinion poll had put the incumbent in the lead.
Another county being cited is Laikipia where the incumbent Joshua Irungu had been written off in the last weeks to the primaries.
During President Kenyatta voter mobilisation drive in Nanyuki two months ago, Irungu was publicly humiliated by crowds.
He was forced to cut short his speech but it is the same area where he is said to have received enormous support during the nominations.
In the end, this group claims that the incumbent gained massive political support in the last week to the primaries, which enabled him to edge out former assistant minister Nderitu Mureithi.
The losers believe the calculated steps that cost them victory in the JP primaries will come back to haunt the region when the Kenyatta succession enters the delicate negotiation period.