The supremacy battle between Governor William Kabogo and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu overshadowed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tour of the county on Wednesday.
Their supporters' efforts to outdo each other provoked an angry Uhuru to demand that they put down banners promoting the two rivals.
However, the adamant supporters continued to sing praise songs and wave the banners bearing messages of endorsement for either Kabogo or Waititu as the President and his deputy William Ruto addressed them.
Later, Uhuru told the rally at Wangige market that he and Ruto would not endorse either of the candidates.
The governor is running for re-election against the MP, who is looking to unseat him.
“Both Kabogo and Waititu are my good friends. However, I have decided not to endorse any of them ahead of the Jubilee nominations so you can be the ones to decide who your next governor will be. We will have tea with the one who loses, but he will have to forget about leadership,” Uhuru said.
Meanwhile, the President pleaded with residents to turn up in large numbers on August 8 to re-elect him. Kiambu has has 1.2 million registered voters but voter apathy has been a major problem.
“I have information that some people are saying they will not vote on August 8. I appeal to you, particularly the youth, not to let me down. Support me so we can finish the work we have started,” Uhuru said.
Just before the President and his deputy arrived at the rally, the two rivals' supporters had engaged in a shouting match at Ruaka trading centre that almost degenerated into violence.
The police had a hard time controlling the rival camps, who brought business to a standstill as Kabogo and Waititu stood a few metres away.
Waititu had earlier arrived in Ruaka to a rousing welcome in the company of his running mate, James Nyoro.