When LDP leader Raila Odinga declared Kibaki Tosha in 2002, former President Daniel Moi was caught flat-footed. Mzee Moi had argued the Kikuyu nation would rally behind Uhuru Kenyatta to the last man, and with the influence he had on the Kalenjin, his protege would carry on as the third president of Kenya upon his (Moi) retirement later that year.
Raila was an MP for Langata at that time, leading a group of disgruntled politicians from KANU, DP, and NAK, under the umbrella Rainbow Coalition to support DP leader Mwai Kibaki for president.
Twenty years later, Mt. Kenya is facing the same fate. Different players, but two very familiar faces (Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta) who were leading opposing camps then (in 2002), but today are in pact to determine who becomes President in 2022.
Pundits and politicians alike agree the Kiambaa by-election outcome is a reflection of 2022. Not only in terms of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s influence on his backyard but also on whether Mt. Kenya is truly a stronghold of Deputy President William Ruto. Can he score over seventy percent of the total presidential vote in the region? Kiambaa was critical because it is at the heart of Kiambu, Uhuru Kenyatta’s home county.
According to official results from the IEBC, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku won the Kiambaa parliamentary by-election with 21, 773 votes, followed closely by Kariri Njama of Jubilee who had 21,263 votes. In aggregate, William Ruto’s UDA polled at 51prercent while Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee was at 49 percent.
Going by these figures, the neck-to-neck race witnessed in Kiambaa is a reflection of the anticipated clash in 2022, where the Jubilee Party has vowed to back anyone else for the presidency, but DP William Ruto.
Apart from the by-elections, increased lobbying by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s men to have Mt Kenya’s leadership mantle transferred to Mt. Kenya East for the first time is another factor currently driving deep a wedge between leaders from the East and those from the West.
Mt. Kenya West, comprising the larger Agikuyu community, currently inhabiting the counties of Kiambu, Muranga, Nakuru, Laikipia, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Nyandarua.
Speaker Justin Muturi from Mbeere, insists it is time their counterparts from the West passed the torch after Uhuru Kenyatta’s retirement in 2022. Mt Kenya East has Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu counties.