By Francis Ngige
With The National Alliance (TNA) expected to use the September 17 by-elections to test its popularity, the Kangema race is interesting to watch, as majority aspirants are keen on the party ticket.
Already, 11 aspirants have come out to fight for the TNA ticket even as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) set August 15, as the deadline for political parties to hold nominations.
The by-election occasioned by the death of former Environment Minister John Michuki will be done alongside those of Kajiado North and Ndhiwa, whose MPs George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode died in a plane crash on June 10.
As a result of the intensive scramble for its ticket, TNA officials have started drawing up strategies to ensure there would be differences once the nomination is done.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who is understood to have a keen interest on the seat, has already summoned the aspirants for brain storming ahead of the nominations.
Before his death, Michuki, a fiery politician, was rooting for Uhuru as the best bet to replace President Kibaki. Whether his wish will hold sway remains to be seen.
The Kangema by-election is billed as a popularity contest between Uhuru and fellow presidential aspirant from central Kenya, Peter Kenneth.
Being in Kenneth’s backyard of Murang’a, Uhuru would be keen to use the poll to demonstrate his political muscle.
His aides say Uhuru wants to work on a formula where all the nomination losers will support the winner.
“He (Uhuru) has already spoken to them on the need to remain united even after the nominations. He wants them to participate in a free and fair nominations,” said an ally.