Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and former Devolution minister Ann Waiguru are engaged in a war of words ahead of President Kenyatta’s visit to Kirinyaga County Wednesday.
The two are gunning for the county’s governorship in the August 8 elections.
While Ms Waiguru and her team insist that Narc Kenya should keep off the visit, Ms Karua’s team is preparing to welcome the President.
According to Mr Peter Ndambiri who is Ms Waiguru’s running mate, the President should publicly declare that Jubilee candidates are his favourite.
“We belong to the Jubilee Party which the President is seeking re-election with and we are optimistic that he will campaign for us,” said Mr Ndambiri.
He insisted that the visit will be purely a Jubilee affair and independent candidates and those from other parties should keep off.
“We do not want other candidates to gate crash. They should not attend the Jubilee rally to achieve political mileage. We understand candidates from other political parties have even bought Jubilee T-shirts to wear during the Presidential visit but we shall not allow them to do so,” said Mr Ndambiri.
However, Ms Karua and her running mate, Gachoki Gitari, want the President to embrace all candidates.
“Narc Kenya, Jubilee and the independents are supporting the President and he should treat us equally,” said Ms Karua.
Mr Gitari, who is also the Kirinyaga Central MP, said all candidates from various political parties are campaigning for the Head State and he expects him to campaign for himself only.
“When the President arrives we expect him to drum up support for himself only and leave Jubilee and other candidates from different parties to face off,” said Mr Gitari.
He was quick to add that the President is free to speak out his mind without interference from any quarters as he woos voters in the area.
“We should not dictate to the President on what he should talk about,” said Mr Gitari.
Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi, who is defending his seat as an independent candidate, promised to be there to meet the President.
“He is my President and I will welcome him once he lands in the region. I’m campaigning for him and I hope he will remain neutral when he woo voters in the region,” said Mr Ndathi.
The Maendeleo Chap Chap governorship candidate Macharia Karani said his party endorsed President Kenyatta during its recent national delegates’ conference and there is no way the Head of State can make a mistake of campaigning only for Jubilee candidates in Kirinyaga.
The leaders are also expecting the President to address the projects which have stalled and the pathetic state of roads in the expansive vote-rich Mwea Sub-County.
“We want the President to address the Sh20 billion Thiba Dam which has stalled for ten years,” said Mr Ndathi.
The dam is meant to boost rice farming in the giant Mwea Irrigation Scheme.
Ms Karua expects the President to address the Kagio-Kandongu and the Piai- Kanjinji roads which pass through the agriculturally rich areas of Mwea.
“These roads are usually impassable and residents suffer when delivering their produce to the markets. They should be tarmacked so that the residents can benefit,” said Ms Karua.
Mr Ndambiri noted that construction of the Sh1.5 billion Kutus-Githure road has been slow and that leaders will prevail upon the President to comment about it.