Jubilee’s Joseph Githinji wins Muguga ward by-election

Jubilee Muguga ward aspirant Githinji Mung'ara when he cast his vote at Kahuho Uhuru High School shortly after 1 pm Thursday. [Courtesy]

Jubilee’s candidate Joseph Mung’ara Githinji has won the Muguga Ward by-election.

Githinji garnered 4089 votes, followed closely by United Democratic Alliance’s Peter Thumbi who garnered 4,062 votes.

Thirdway Alliance candidate Moses Gichau came a distant third with only 49 votes, with People’s Party of Kenya’s (PPK) Peter Njoroge in fourth with 32 votes. 

Stakes were high in the by-election as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s candidate faced off with his Deputy William Ruto's UDA-backed candidate.

For the two leaders, this was a make-or-break duel as the DP makes inroads into his boss' backyard just weeks after being white-washed by MP Moses Kuria’s Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP) in the Juja parliamentary by-election in May.

In Muguga, MPs allied to DP Ruto had exuded confidence that they would carry the day.

UDA would have had its third MCA after winning the London and Rurii ward seats in Nakuru and Nyandarua counties respectively also in May.

As projected on the IEBC screens, voter turnout in Muguga stood at 45.40 per cent from 18,374 registered voters.

The Muguga ward and Kiambaa Constituency mini-polls are being billed as a battle for supremacy between the president and his deputy ahead of the 2022 general election and an indication on which side will carry the day in the vote-rich central Kenya region.

MPs Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Kimani Ichung'wah (Kikuyu), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), together with senators Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a), Millicent Omanga (nominated) and former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru were some of the UDA bigwigs who campaigned relentlessly in Muguga.

For President Kenyatta, a loss coming in the mini-polls after his party was vanquished in Juja constituency and Rurii ward in May would have painted a picture of a leader losing his political backyard one year to his retirement.

Ruto, on the other hand, was looking to build a case for his political ascendancy in Mt Kenya if UDA candidate Thumbi won.

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