Murang’a MPs feud ahead of TNA elections

By BONIFACE GIKANDI

Kenya: A battle of supremacy has emerged in Murang’a County, with the focus turning on MPs Sabina Wanjiru Chege and Jamleck Kamau.

The looming battle between the MPs came out in the open last week during a thanksgiving ceremony for Chege held at Kenol Township, although she hails from Kigumo constituency represented by the former Nairobi Metropolitan minister.

During the function, four Murang’a legislators Kamau, Tiras Nyingi Ngahu (Kangema), Clement Wambugu (Mathioya) and Alice Wahome (Kandara) were absent.

But Peter Kamande Mwangi (Maragua), Irungu Kang’ata (Kiharu) and Humphrey Kimani Njuguna alias Roho Safi (Gatanga) attended the function graced by Deputy President William Ruto.

The battle for supremacy is believed to be connected to the much awaited The National Alliance (TNA) grassroots elections in which Ms Chege and Mr Kamau are believed to be working to emerge as the county political kingpin connected to the centre of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

Mwangi, the Maragua MP, told The Standard on Sunday some local MPs had intimated they were angered that the chatty County MP was undermining them in their constituencies.

The Maragua MP said despite the homecoming being held in his constituency, he was not consulted on identification of the venue or to give blessings among other issues.

“I was there because the Deputy President was in my constituency, but we are not comfortable with Sabina Chege as there is need to work in partnership and regular consultations,” said Mwangi.

They also claim Ms Chege constantly sneaks into their constituencies without involving them beforehand. “We are disturbed that Wanjiru, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Education, failed to endorse TSC nominees who included our Murang’a born educationist Kiragu Magochi,” said Mwangi, tracing possible cause of the bad blood.

Some legislators who skipped the function have indicated that some were not invited and therefore considered the function a private affair.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome described the homecoming as purely private, indicating she had no invitation and went on with other engagements with her constituents.

Notably, however, the Kandara MP was one of the first legislators to criticise Ms Chege’s “unsanctioned” forays into her constituency. Kangari member of the county assembly Anderson Muchemi, a close ally to the Kigumo MP, claimed Kamau was not formally invited for Ms Chege’s function.

Still, considering that Ms Chege comes from Kinyona village in Mr Kamau’s Kigumo constituency, the former minister’s absence in the homecoming and the fact that it was not held in his constituency, is seen as telling how the differences are widening.

Ms Chege insisted that she had invited all the MPs and defended her “unsanctioned” forays into the constituencies as just hot air.

“I am a county MP and my constituency is the county,” said Ms Chege. “I am just doing my job by visiting any part of Murang’a constituency.”

There are those who see the bitterness against the county MP as borne out of political envy because of her strong political credentials.

Of Murang’a seven legislators, only Ms Chege and her political foe Mr Kamau hold the prestigious parliamentary committee chairmanship, elevating them in the political pecking order directly behind senator Kembi Gitura (who is also the Senate Deputy Majority Leader) and governor Mwangi wa Iria.

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