The race for Nyeri woman representative seat in 2022 polls is shaping up to a battle between incumbent Rahab Mukami and Margaret Waithiegeni, the second wife of the late governor Nderitu Gachagua.
Gachagu’s first wife Margaret Nyokabi lives in London with their four children – Susan Kirigo, Mercy Wanjira, Ken Gachagua and Jason Kariuki. She is not interested in politics.
Waithiegeni has hit the ground running sending the Mukami camp back to the drawing board.
With deep pockets, having been a major beneficiary of the late Gachagua’s estate, whose fortunes increased tenfold after the government paid his company, Vipingo Beach Resort, about Sh1 billion for 62 apartments demolished in Nairobi’s South C for the construction of the Southern Bypass, Waithiegeni’s entry into the political arena is causing ripples in the county.
She is now using the connections she established as first lady to spearhead her campaigns across the county.
The first Nyeri governor died in February 2017 at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
His deputy Samuel Wamaathai, who had been at the helm in his absence, took over but lost the seat in the 2017 elections to Wahome Gakuru, who died in a road accident a month after the polls. He was succeeded by Mutahi Kahiga.
Sources privy to Waithiegeni’s game plan said she is doing her mathematics before formally throwing her hat into the ring.
Her entry in the race is bound to give the incumbent sleepless nights.
Already, Waithiegeni’s rich curriculum vitae is sending her rivals back to the drawing board to strategise on how to counter her.
She started off as a secondary school teacher before rising to become a principal.
Her last posting as principal was at Nyakiambi Girls’ High School in Nyandarua county before she was posted to Kagumo Teachers’ College as a lecturer.
She resigned to establish her own school, Riverbank Academy and used her experience as a teacher and manager when her husband delved into politics to run the institution.
“During the campaign period, I was able to connect with women and youth who are a key voting bloc,” she was once quoted saying.
She describes herself as an individual who is passionate about youth and women’s role in society and her work as the first lady revolved around the two groups, which are a key determinants of an electoral outcome.
Signals that she is interested in a political seat emerged when she joined residents for a memorial service in honour of her late husband last year where 2022 politics dominated the show.
During the event that was attended by William Ruto, senate speaker Ken Lusaka and Governor Kahiga in Karatina, Waithiegeni indicated she was eyeing a political office when she decried the neglect of women and youth.
Besides that, she was among the organisers of the free medical camp together with Royal Media Services and other organisations.
Last year was the second memorial service for the late Gachagua who died in 2017 at the age of 64.
In the 2017 elections, the battle for the Nyeri woman representative seat was between then incumbent Priscilla Nyokabi and politician Mukami.
Mukami had given Nyokabi a a run for her money during the Jubilee Party primaries.
Mukami was making her second attempt for the seat after losing to Nyokabi in 2013 elections.
After losing in the Jubilee primaries, Nyokabi defended the seat as independent candidate but lost to Mukami.
While announcing her decision to vie as an independent, Nyokabi said the Jubilee primary poll was shambolic and the outcome did not reflect the will of the voters, adding that she was rigged out by unnamed forces, whom many said was Ruto, who wanted to push her out of politics.
For now, Mukami has aligned herself to the Tanga Tanga brigade that is backing Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Waithiegeni has not joined any camp.
Mukami, a key leader of Inua Mama Group, has clashed with Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu who is in the Kieleweke group that is opposed to the deputy president taking over from Uhuru in 2022.
She has been a victim of brutality from goons allegedly hired by the Nyeri Town MP to stop the Tanga Tanga team from “premature campaigns in Nyeri town”.
But Wambugu on the other hand, has been accusing Mukami and Rigathi Gachagua the Mathira MP and Mwangi Kiunjuri of using goons to undermine him in his constituency.
He alleges they are being used by Ruto.
For Nyokabi, she might make a comeback after the president gave her lifeline by appointing her a member of the selection panel that picked National Land Commission chairperson and member
Details of Kibicho, Waiguru bitter war – Weekly Citizen
It’s gloves off for two of Uhuru Kenyatta’s most trusted allies – Internal principal secretary Karanja Kibicho and Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru – as they wrestle for political supremacy in the region ahead of the 2022 general election.
Kibicho, by virtue of being the Interior PS is close to the president and communicates with him on daily basis while Waiguru has been close to the head of state since his tenure as deputy prime minister and minister for Finance in the grand coalition government headed by Mwai Kibaki as president and Raila Odinga as prime minister.
Waiguru was then head of governance and the Economic Stimulus Programme at the National Treasury, where Uhuru was her boss.
But Kibicho was the first to be appointed to a senior government position when Kibaki picked him in 2010 to be the permanent secretary in the ministry of Industrialisation.
Prior to his appointment as PS, Kibicho, a mechanical engineer was the head of the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Jomo Kenyatta University College of Agriculture and Technology and had been involved in array of engineering projects with some commissioned by the government.
One of the projects he had done was the evaluation of the pumping capacity of the Mombasa-Nairobi oil pipeline of the Kenya Pipeline Company Limited.
And when Uhuru was elected in 2013, Kibicho was among the three PSs who had served in the Kibaki regime the new president retained.
Those retained were Mutea Iringo as principal secretary, ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kibicho as Foreign Affairs PS and Micheni Ntiba (Fisheries).
In Uhuru’s first term, Kibicho took a back seat while in contrast, Waiguru, who was then the Devolution cabinet secretary, pulled the strings and indeed fellow CSs used to refer to her behind her back as the defacto prime minister.
But the fall of Waiguru as Devolution CS due to her links with the National Youth Service Sh790 million scandal was a golden opportunity for Kibicho to rise to become the most influential figure in Kirinyaga politics.
Today, Kibicho is easily the most powerful state official in Kenya after the president and Kibicho’s boss, cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i.
Every so often, you hear members of deputy president William Ruto’s Tangatanga political team crying foul.
They talk about state officials whom, they say, are “abusing power, disobeying court orders and frustrating the deputy president”.
On a number of occasions, they have come out openly, to mention Kibicho and Matiang’i.
At one point, last year, they even alleged there was a plot to physically eliminate the deputy president.
But now a new war has exploded pitting Kibicho against Waiguru, two of the president most trusted allies.
It was the PS who ignited the feud when he had unkind words for the Kirinyaga governor after the county chief allegedly declined to transfer a 100-acre parcel of land in Mwea to Kenya Medical Research Institute so that the agency can construct a Sh15 billion health and research facility.
In October last year, Kirinyaga county deputy governor Peter Ndambiri said the reason Waiguru was yet to okay the transfer of land to Kemri was because the institute bluntly refused to enter into an agreement with the governor.
“Kemri is not willing to enter into an agreement with Governor Waiguru’s administration. That is why the title deed of the Wamumu land in Mwea hasn’t been handed over to it,” Ndambiri said while addressing Kirinyaga residents at Riandira Primary School during the 2019 Mashujaa Day celebrations.
“We want to know how our residents will benefit from the project. Kemri must sign an agreement with us if it wants to be given the land document,” he added.
The deputy governor told Kemri that the document will only be released once the agreement was signed.
Ndambiri’s statement came on the back of a suit in court that stopped Kemri from undertaking any development on the 100-acre parcel of land in Mwea.
Kemri said it wanted to build a level five hospital, university, a medical supplies factory and a medical research centre at Wamumu area in Mwea, all valued at Sh15 billion
In late October 2019, Kemri through its lawyer Wilfred Lusi had gone to court seeking to have a September 2019 order stopping it from engaging in construction work on the land lifted.
Lusi told a Kerugoya court that a contractor was already on the ground, but was stopped from going on with the construction of the proposed ultra-modern teaching and referral hospital on the land after a suit was filed at the Environment and Land Court.
The civil suit was filed by one Leonard Kuria, who named Kemri as the first respondent and the Kirinyaga county government as the second respondent.
Kuria through his lawyer, DN Gitonga claimed Kemri did not involve area residents (public participation) as required by the constitution before commencing on the mega project.
Kuria in September 2019 had managed to get orders stopping the Kemri project from going on.
The orders were issued by the Environment and Land Court judge Enock Cherono who ruled that construction could only resume after the matter was heard and determined.
Kibicho has accused Waiguru of sabotaging the project, which, according to him, would immensely benefit the people of Kirinyaga county.
“The governor’s decision to sabotage the project is sheer stupidity that should not be allowed to continue,” Kibicho said while monitoring the progress of development projects in Mwea constituency.
“I am shocked that your governor is opposed to the Kemri project, which will go a long way in boosting the economy of Kirinyaga county. It is stupid and foolish of one to oppose such a viable project that, upon completion, will be very important to the people of the county that she leads,” said Kibicho.
The PS said Kirinyaga county constituents stand to lose big time should the project be channeled to another county.
Kirinyaga county deputy governor was present when Kibicho lashed out at his boss.
The PS even told Ndambiri to “implore upon the person who filed a case in court seeking to stop the Kemri project to withdraw the suit immediately”.
“If that doesn’t happen, then I would advise Kirinyaga county residents to protest, demanding withdrawal of the said case,” said Kibicho.
But Ndambiri, four CECs of Kirinyaga county and the county secretary had earlier been locked out of a meeting chaired by Kibicho as the PS met other government officials in a social hall in Mwea.
When the deputy governor attempted to gain access to the venue of the meeting, he was told to wait outside the hall as the two-hour meeting went on inside the hall.
After the meeting ended, Kibicho is said to have refused to brief Ndambiri and his team on what they had deliberated on.
But Ndambiri told journalists that Kibicho and his team were operating arrogantly in Kirinyaga without involving the county leadership.
“The national and county governments should work harmoniously with each other, and not engage in power struggles that end up hurting the mwananchi,” said Ndambiri.
Speaking after attending a church service at KAG Kanjai in Ndia constituency, Ndambiri said they are negotiating with Kuria who moved to court to stop the construction of the Sh15 billion project to drop the case but warned that Kibicho’s interference may derail the project.
According to Waiguru, Kibicho harbours motives in his spirited push to have Kemri pitch camp in Mwea without observing an MoU with the county government.
“On Kemri, Uhuru Kenyatta required an MoU to be signed so that the interests of Kirinyaga people, who I was elected to represent, are taken into account. Is PS Kibicho now superior to the president? What is his personal interest in the matter?” ranted the governor on Facebook.
“If PS Karanja Kibicho wants to engage in village politics and insults, he can resign and join others in early campaigns. In the meantime, he can concentrate on the difficult task of ensuring internal security, including in the turbulent parts of the country,” added Waiguru.
Kabete Polytechnic turning into notorious crime scene – Weekly Citizen
Recent events at the Kabete Technical Institute that saw detectives storm the institution drugs and a move by rowdy students to eject worshippers from church have raised security questions.
Some weeks back, DCI detectives made a dramatic arrest of a police imposter who had courageously walked into the institution and arrested a student on allegations that he was peddling narcotic drugs.
According to the DCI, Daniel Ochieng visited the institution and introduced himself as a police officer posted from Central police division and was on a mission to conduct investigations on crimes within the institution.
The DCI on his social media platform further stated that the 23-year-old police imposter later arrested the said drug peddler and intimidated him with severe police action prompting the victim to negotiate his freedom with a cool Sh30,000.
However the student later reported the extortionist to the police who made arrest and upon subjecting him to body search recovered one roll of bhang, a toy pistol and the cash, according to DCI.
But the drama has left tongues wagging and questions being raised on how and why the said imposter singled out the victim who instantly bribed him with a whooping Sh30, 000 despite being a student.
There is feeling that the officer who turned out to be fake had solid information on his target regarding drug business at the institution, now becoming increasingly synonymous with criminal activities.
Prior to the drugs puzzle, a longstanding cold blood between the college and neighbouring St Joseph Anglican Church degenerated into tragic scenes when rowdy students stormed the church during service to the chagrin of worshippers who were forced to scamper for safety.
The students burned the gate and roughed up worshipers, ending the church service prematurely while there was even more drama when they engaged the police who had moved in to contain the situation, into a running battle for the better part of the day.
The confrontation was sparked by a longstanding land tussle pitting the church against Kabete Technical Institute with both institutions claiming ownership.
It appeared the disgruntled students planned their protests, opting to storm the church on a Sunday when the service was underway to pass their message as opposed to any other day of the week.
According to Rev Wachira Maina, the land in question belongs to the church which had met National Land Commission officials and presented their papers.
However, students from the institution who spoke to the press maintained despite the land being owned by the learning institution, the church has occupied the land for years.
“We have decided to take matters into our hand because the government has failed to intervene in this matter,” said one of the participants in the confrontation.
Property of unknown value was destroyed during the confrontation and efforts to reach principal Charles Akach for comments were fruitless after he failed to respond to our several phone calls and text messages.
Some Kenyans have appealed to the security agents to keenly monitor current happenings at the institution now rapidly turning out to be a crime scene.
Notably the principal was at one time arrested and locked up at Kisumu Central Police Station in November 2005 after he found himself in a constitutional referendum fracas between the Orange and Banana teams that left death and destruction in Kisumu.
During that time he was the deputy principal at Kisumu Polytechnic and when the gate of the institution was brought down by a GSU Landrover acting as a battering ram, he also found himself in trouble when the students were beaten black and blue before he was arrested alongside the students.
Akach joined Kabete National Polytechnic in Septemeber 2016, the same year the institution was elevated from a technical training institute to a fully-fledged national polytechnic.
However his stay at the institution as principal has seen student enrollment rise from 1,650 to over 6,000.
Prior to being posted to Kabete, Akach who is an accountant and academician was the principal of Siaya Institute of Technology.
The trouble principal has found himself at the centre of a contested land whose allocation was authorised by the late president Daniel Moi who was a staunch member of the Anglican Church of Kenya.
Others claim that documentations from the National Land Commission indicate that five acres in Kabete were allocated to ACK St Joseph on instructions of the then president Moi.
Wambora ignores drunkard MCAs – Weekly Citizen
Embu governor Martin Wambora rejected the contentious alcoholic drinks control Bill that would have allowed consumption of liquor from as early as 3pm daily.
The bill had been supported by majority of assembly MCAs known to enjoy hot drinks before going to the assembly debates, to gain courage.
Wambora refused to assent to the proposed law and sent it back to the county assembly with a memorandum citing the clauses that he wants amended. Wambora’s decision means, MCAs who had voted and passed the Bill will study again the controversial law that caused public uproar with many demanding for its review.
Assembly speaker Josiah Thiriku found himself in trouble with residents over the bill. The Bill is unpopular due to its bid to have official hours for opening bars revised from 5pm to 11pm during official working days and 2pm on weekends and public holidays.
Another issue is abolition of the 24-hour alcohol sale licence for restaurants and hotels. Initially, the law permitted drinking of alcohol at any hour of day or night as long as the drinker had also ordered food at the venue before indulging in liquor consumption.
For now, the ball is in the hands of county assembly trade, tourism, investment and industrialisation committee chaired by Morris Muchiri, MCA for Kirimari ward to streamline the bill.
Majority of MCAs many of them well known drunkards supported early drinking hours despite public outcry.
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