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Francis Kimemia among five aspirants eying governorship in Nyandarua on Jubilee ticket

Former Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia

Probably no seat in Nyandarua County has attracted attention and promises a vicious political battle as the gubernatorial race.

Governor Daniel Waithaka is facing stiff challenge from his deputy Mwangi Kirika, former Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia, a new comer in politics Dr Simon Kanyingi, former County Secretary Muchina Kanja and Moses Ndirangu.

It is a battle that will be determined by one’s political shrewdness, financial muscle and loyalty to Jubilee Party.

All the aspirants are battling for Jubilee ticket apart from Kanja who is vying on a Maendeleo Chap Chap party ticket.

As the nomination exercise for the Jubilee Party nears, the aspirants have gone full steam to endear themselves to voters during church services, funerals and weddings.

But the battle, according to political analysts and residents, is turning out to be a three-horse race. The front-runners are the incumbent governor, his deputy and Kimemia. The latter is deemed to be a tough challenger due to his wealth as well as his connections in Government circles, having served as secretary to the Cabinet.

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“It is in public domain that the three are the top contenders. The new comers in politics have very little chances as the three have the political experience, financial muscle and have  strategies in place,” noted lawyer Martin Waichungo.

According to a resident David Njuguna, the battle will depend on who wins the support of Kinangop and Kipipiri since the two regions have a majority of voters.

“We believe that this will be the decider and that is why they are traversing the region day by day. However, they (Waithaka and Kimemia) will have to fight it hard as the deputy governor comes from the region,” he says.

Lawyer Waichungo says the politicians who hail from outside Kinangop will have to pick a deputy from the region to woo voters.

“This will definitely be the case for both the current governor and Kimemia if they want to win the elections. That is the only way that they can weaken the support of the deputy governor who enjoys massive support from his backyard,” he notes.

Kimemia, who is trying his hands in politics for the first time, has been traversing the region attending church fundraising meetings as well as other public functions. He has been critical of the current leadership, accusing it of embezzling public funds and called on residents to embrace change.

On the other hand, Kirika is said to be marshalling the support of his Kinangop backyard to win the seat.

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The area has over 50,000 registered voters and whoever get its full support will have an upper hand in the race.

Kirika has also had differences with the governor since they two won the 2013 election.

“Let it be known that I am in the race for the governor and whoever is doubting this should know that I will win it and support me. I am the most experienced politician in this region and I am confident that people will vote for me,” Kirika told The Standard.

But Governor Waithaka is confident that he will retain the seat.

He says that his development record speaks for its self.

“Let them come but I am sure Nyandarua people are the ones to decide. I can for sure predict a victory in the elections,” he said.

He pointed out the development in the infrastructure, especially in the road sector, as one of his major achievements. “Farmers are now able to deliver their produce to the market on time since the roads are now in very good condition. This is unlike the case before I took over power,” he said.

Waithaka also points out improvement of health facilities saying that Sh1.2 billion had been pumped into the sector in the last three years.

“This is something never experienced before. For now, we have better hospitals with good facilities and enough staff. I want my opponents to challenge me on this,” he said.

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