3 iron ladies, top politicians contesting for Kirinyaga Governor

Kirinyaga gubernatorial race shaping up to be one of the most exciting elections in 2022

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, DG Peter Ndambiri, Senior Counsel Martha Karua and Senator Charles Kibiru contesting for Kirinyaga Governor

With less than five months to the August 9, 2022 elections, the Kirinyaga gubernatorial race has gained the interest of some of Kenya's top politicians including three women who are heavy-weights in their own right.

Here are the aspirants gunning for the seat:-

SC Karua is the Narc-Kenya party leader and Kenya's original “iron lady” in politics, having previously served as Justice Minister and the sole female candidate in the 2013 presidential election. She is also former Gichugu MP.

This is her second stab at the governor position having lost to the Incumbent Governor Anne Waiguru in a hotly contested poll back in 2017.

She declared her bid for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial race on January 31, 2022 at the Kerugoya Stadium.

Karua has promised the residents of Kirinyaga that she will ease the burden of the county’s healthcare system and will work closely with leaders of farmers' groups to transform the agricultural sector if elected.

The former minister has been campaigning for Azimio La Umoja presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga and has joined the Azimio rallies across the nation since her sit-down with Mr Odinga on March 23.

She is the current woman representative for Kirinyaga. She was elected in 2017 on a Jubilee party ticket.

Ngirici was to vie for the seat on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party but in what she terms as being shortchanged, she ditched the party and will be contesting as an independent candidate.

The woman representative believes, based on her tenure, she is the ideal candidate as she understands what the locals need. She promises to ensure bright children from poor families benefit 100% from the county government bursary program.

Ndambiri is the deputy governor for Kirinyaga county. He is expected to be vying for the seat on a Jubilee party ticket, now that both Ngirici and Governor Waiguru abandoned the president's party.

Ever since he declared his interest in unseating the governor he deputises, their once close work relationship turned frosty. The two have been in verbal exchanges, with Ndambiri claiming she’s not fit for the position due to her alleged partiality.

The Deputy Governor has been rallying leaders from regions in Kirinyaga to support his quest.

Kibiru is the Senator for Kirinyaga County. He was elected as an independent candidate in 2017 winning against the county's first Senator and the then Jubilee party candidate Daniel Karaba. He is also the Chair of the Senate Finance and Budget Committee.

On March 18, he defected from Jubilee to join the UDA party. He will be contesting for the UDA party ticket with Governor Waiguru in the party primaries.

He was endorsed for the county chief position in November 2021 by a group of elders and some business people from Kirinyaga.

She is the current governor of Kirinyaga County and a former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution.

On June 9, 2021 she was nearly impeached by the Kirinyaga county assembly but the Senate overturned the impeachment.

Waiguru is defending her seat with the UDA party. While addressing residents in Kanyeki-ini in February, she said she believes her impressive scorecard and tangible projects are enough justification for re-election.

Ndathi was the first governor of Kirinyaga County. On his second attempt in the 2017 elections, he lost to Governor Waiguru in the Jubilee party nominations.

He will be looking to reclaim his seat with Mwangi Kiunjuri's The Service Party (TSP).

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