Even as the battle-hardened Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua takes her war to unseat Governor Anne Waiguru in Kirinyaga to the courts, she is also rebranding herself in readiness to challenge other aspirants in 2022.
However, at the national level, her rival, Waiguru is leading the pace by rebranding herself as the ideal leader to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta as the boss of Kikuyus.
This is an affront to Karua, who by contesting the presidency in 2013, and backing Uhuru in 2017, was considering herself the frontrunner in the race to inherit Uhuru.
Last week, Waiguru laid bare her ambition by insisting she is ready to take the mantle of leadership if considered in 2022.
She said Mt Kenya region is open to forming a political alliance with Raila Odinga.
The governor who in the past had bitter differences with Raila said a wind of political change has hit Central Kenya throwing open the region’s choice of a presidential candidate in 2022.
“If it is Raila, he should know that the region will want a piece of his government,” Waiguru said. She also did not totally rule out supporting Ruto.
But even as the governor starts charting her political future, the firebrand Karua, according to her confidantes, has equally reached out to Raila and in the coming days she will join the Orange party brigade in championing constitutional changes.
Karua decided to join Raila ahead of Waiguru and was also driven by the fact that another challenger for the gubernatorial seat in 2022, the moneyed woman representative Purity Ngirici is firmly in William Ruto’s camp.
For Waiguru, she ditched Ruto for the Embrace Movement, which brings together Jubilee and ODM MPs out to stop Ruto from succeeding Uhuru.
On the other hand, Ngirici is a key member of the Tanga Tanga team. She has declared publicly that she will back Ruto in 2022.
Two weeks ago, a forlorn Karua came to the end of the road for litigation to nullify the gubernatorial election but she vowed the setback was not the end of the road for litigation.
She threatened to file a petition at the Judicial Service Commission to demand a probe on the judges who handled the matter.
While she did not elaborate on the case she is taking to the eight-member commission headed by Chief Justice David Maraga, she hinted that some of the judges who handled her petition are among her targets.
The judges who handled the case are High Court judge Lucy Gitari (Kerugoya) and appellate justices Stephen Gatembu, Roselyn Nambuye, and Hannah Okwengu.
Karua cried foul over the ruling issued by the Supreme Court, dismissing her third and final bid to oust Waiguru.
According to her, the apex court, like the High Court and the Court of Appeal, denied her justice.
“Our legal system decrees that it (Supreme Court) is the highest court. But I don’t have to believe in it,” she said.
She accused the supreme judges of electing not to consider her case.
She also dismissed calls by Jubilee party leaders in Kirinyaga, who asked the president to fulfil his pledge and give her a cabinet post.
For now, the Narc-Kenya leader is preparing to battle it out in 2022 with Ngirici and Waiguru.
Ngirici and Waiguru do not see- eye-to-eye and indeed the woman rep was excluded from the governor’s wedding guest list recently. Ruto was also conspicuously missing in the wedding.
Others who missed the governor’s second big day included Kirinyaga Central MP John Munene who said he was also not invited as well as a section of MCAs.
As part of her early campaigns, Ngirici has been demanding for audit of all the funds that have been allocated in Kirinyaga county for development since Waiguru took over the reigns.
Her demands came following a video that went round the social media circles showing a sorry state of Kerugoya Hospital.
While speaking to Kirinyaga residents, Ngirici demanded that a report should be done showing the money allocated to the hospital, how it was spent and how much is remaining.
Ngirici and Waiguru have in the recent past had their differences with the governor at one time demanding for Ngirici’s arrest for heckling and hijacking projects.
The two who were friends have been feuding since the campaigns for the 2017 general election after the Jubilee party nominations.
This came after Ngirici declared she would be contesting for the governor seat.
Already, leaders in the county are creating campaign strategies as they prepare to battle it out for the top county seat.
A section of residents in Kirinyaga are drumming up support for Ngirici owing to the projects she has initiated in the county through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.
According to residents in Kerugoya, Mwea and Kirinyaga Central, Ngirici has uplifted the living standards of locals in the county through the empowerment of women, youth and the elderly.
“Ngirici has drilled boreholes for us and has helped in ensuring the funds for the elderly are disbursed on time,” said John Munene, a resident.
“We have been experiencing delays in the disbursement of bursary funds but Ngirici has been helping the poor by paying fees for needy students,” said Alex Mwaura, a Kerugoya resident.
As such, there is no doubt Waiguru will face an uphill task in defending her seat, given the inroads Ngirici has made.
Waiguru has also fallen out with her MCAs over the ward development fund and bursary allocations.
The new development will most likely destabilise her support base as realignments begin taking shape with MCAs leaning to Ngirici.
During the 2017 general election, Uhuru paraded Waiguru and Karua, saying whoever would not sail through as governor would be given a job in government.
Now Waiguru says the populous Mt Kenya region is open to forming a political alliance with Raila ahead of the 2022 elections.
Waiguru, who has had a frosty relationship with Raila, described the Orange Democratic Movement leader as someone who understands the significant role that women play in Kenya’s politics.
The cocky relationship between Raila and Waiguru hit rock bottom in 2016 after the opposition leader linked her to the multimillion shilling scandal at the National Youth Service.
Waiguru who was at the time a powerful minister in charge of Devolution, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, responded to Raila’s claims with a legal suit which she dropped after their hostilities ended last year following a meeting at the opposition leader’s Nairobi Capitol Hill offices.
The prevailing rapprochement between Raila and Waiguru began in November last year after she withdrew the suit and announced the launch of a new friendship in the interest of national development.
Raila’s political dalliance with Waiguru became even clearer last month after the former PM accompanied Uhuru to the governor’s wedding in Kirinyaga last month.
Waiguru tied the knot with Nairobi lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo in a traditional wedding that was attended by prominent politicians and businessmen.