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It’s a catfight for Meru Woman Representative seat

By Phares Mutembei | Published Sun, March 5th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 4th 2017 at 23:26 GMT +3
Kawira Mwangaza. (Photo: Peter Muthomi/Standard)

Cracks are emerging in Meru County’s “Kikali Alliance” over the choice of Jubilee Party Woman Representative flag-bearer, presumed to be the incumbent Florence Kajuju.

A member of the alliance, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi is wooing popular Baite TV owner and PNU’s latest sensation, Kawira Mwangaza to cross to Jubilee.

The alliance comprises Mr Linturi, Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Kajuju herself. Its supported by among others Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi, which also aims at dislodging Governor Peter Munya and his line-up from all county seats. Earlier this week, Ms Mwangaza is said to have met Deputy President William Ruto courtesy of Linturi. This opened floodgates of protests from both PNU and Kajuju’s support base. “She (Kajuju) vigorously campaigned for President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto in their most difficult season.

Florence Kajuju

Besides, she is more popular in Meru through her work,” Mr Aburi said.

According to Aburi, who is himself facing onslaught from a strong PNU candidate, the Woman Representative seat should not be taken away from Kajuju, who hails from the Tigania sub-tribe, for Ms Mwangaza, who belongs to Imenti sub-tribe.

“We cannot have the governor and woman rep seats going to one area. We would be left with nothing but the deputy governor’s position if Mwangaza is handed the Jubilee ticket,” Aburi said. Kiraitu comes from Imenti while Linturi comes from the Igembe sub-tribe, and Aburi has said that Tigania could re-think their position if the ticket does not go to Kajuju.

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Kajuju has said she is in Jubilee Party to stay. Saturday, Jubilee Party’s Organising Secretary in Meru Joshua Baariu said they welcome competition for the party’s ticket.

“We want as many women as possible to vie for the seat. We are a democratic party and everybody is free to run,” said Mr Baariu.

Mwangaza has used her television station to entrench herself in local politics. She has previously consulted with Munya’s PNU where she dislodged Mary Mwiti, one of Munya’s county executives from the race. Saturday, Mwangaza did not pick calls nor reply to our text messages. Governor Munya however accused Jubilee Party of targeting PNU’s strong candidates after failing to grow own candidates.

“I want to dare them to grow their own candidates. I also want to promise them we will sweep them out,” Munya vowed.