With 2022 polls fast approaching, candidates for Murang’a County senate seat have started laying ground for what is shaping up as a battle of titans.
While some candidates have already hit the ground running, others have deployed their foot soldiers with goodies to rally support from the electorate.
The seat has so far attracted seasoned politicians, top government officials and businessmen.
They include Kembi Gitura, Charles Mwangi, and Prof Kagwanja, Joe Nyutu, Peter Njagi, and Joseph Mbai among others.
However, political scheming and strategizing has been dividing Murang’a county into the south and north factions.
The county boasts of 457,052 registered votes, with 284,950 votes coming from the south and 172,102 in the north side of Murang’a.
It is alleged in the run-up to the 2013 elections, Murang’a leaders allegedly made a gentleman’s agreement that Murang’a South Maragua, Kandara, Gatanga, and Kigumo would produce a governor, while the senator would hail from the North which constitutes Kiharu, Kangema, and Mathioya.
According to the Memorandum of understanding, the deputy governor and woman representative were to be elected from the South region of Murang’a.
However, the agreement was rubbished and not honoured.
In 2013 the Governor, women representative and the senator came from Muranga North.
The same scenario happened in 2017 as Murang’a North managed to occupy the governor, senator and woman representative seats respectively.
Murang’a South was left behind despite banking on the experienced Jamleck Kamau, who eventually lost to Mwangi Wa Iria during the Jubilee party nominations.
Leaders from the south have been quietly campaigning to change the notion in the upcoming general elections.
According to an opinion poll, Charles Mwangi Ng’ang’a garnered more votes, though he hasn’t declared his senatorial candidature.
Voters have been pushing him to vie for either the senate or the Parliamentary seat due to his governance experience and the fact that he has labelled himself as an enemy of corruption.
Political analysts describe him as the most educated MCA within the Jubilee administration from the Mount Kenya region.
Mwangi is an expert in governance and leadership, a holder of Bachelor of Science Governance and Leadership, Masters of Science Governance and Leadership, and another Masters in project management.
He is currently pursuing a PhD in project management at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology.
He hails from Murang’a south constituency that includes, Maragua, Kigumo, Gatanga, and Kandara.
A reliable source who has sought anonymity has told People Daily Digital that already a plan has been hatched from a section of leaders from the north to downgrade the vocal and an intellectual MCA from winning Murang’a senator in the 2022 general elections.
The source hinted that the plan is to elect someone capable of succeeding current senator Irungu Kang’ata from the north.
“It’s clear in the upcoming general election’s competition for the Murang’a senatorial seat will be between former senator Kembi Gitura and Ichagaki MCA Charles Mwangi Ng’ang’a,” the source revealed.
During a recent poll by Mizani Africa, Kembi Gitura scored 15.1 % while Ichagaki scored 8 percent.
Contacted for comment, Ichagaki said that the politics of succession shouldn’t be a factor by now, as he’s currently serving his people at the Assembly.
He said that people from Murang’a have been pushing him to represent them at the senate since Kangata is eyeing the governor seat.
“I will make my decision soon and make it public, but am ready to represent my people at the upper house and nothing will stop me,” he said.
During a past interview, Murang’a governor Wa Iria described Ichagaki as the “most brilliant MCA”.
“He consistently keeps knocking and lobbying for Ichagaki ward for development. He’s honest and means well for the county,” he said.
Ichagaki believes “when county develops, we uplift the county standard of living, Improves Good Education, health, infrastructure and economic growth.
Last month, he was praised after he sourced funds and enrolled needy students in high school after they visited him at his office.
Last year, Mwangi wrote to the county assembly clerk, instructing him to facilitate the donation of his salary to the COVID-19 board.
The MCA said the fight against the pandemic requires the concerted efforts of all Kenyans and that donating his salary is the only way he could make his contribution to saving lives given his belief in transformations.