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Kinuthia Mbugua picks former KeRRA finance director as running mate

By Kennedy Gachuhi | Published Fri, May 19th 2017 at 15:09, Updated May 19th 2017 at 15:15 GMT +3
Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua (left) unveils his running mate Dr Peter Ketyenya at Top Cliff Hotel in Nakuru on May 19, 2017. Mr Mbugua who lost to former NTSA chairman Mr Lee Kinyanjui at the Jubilee nominations is fighting for his second term as an independent candidate. Mr Ketyenya lost to Mr Joseph Kipkosgei at the Kuresoi South Jubilee nominations. Photo/Suleiman Mbatiah/Standard

It will be a tough bruising battle for the Nakuru County gubernatorial race after incumbent Governor Kinuthia Mbugua unveiled former Kenya Rural Roads Authority finance director Dr Peter Ketyenya as his running mate in his reelection bid.

Mr Mbugua made the announcement on Friday during a press conference held at Top Cliff Lodge in Nakuru. He will be defending his seat as an independent candidate.

His choice for Dr Ketyenya comes as a counter measure against Jubilee Party nominee Lee Kinyanjui who has appointed University of Nairobi lecturer Erick Korir his running mate.

The two running mates hail from the same community and are residents of Kuresoi South Constituency currently held by Zakayo Cheruiyot.

Mbugua's move is expected to intensify the contest for the Kipsigis votes who make up a huge percentage of the Nakuru's over 900,000 registered voters.

The governor described Ketyenya as an equally capable leader to complement his leadership during his second term in office going by his performance in various government offices.

"Ketyenya brings on board a lot of experience especially in financial management. He also has a great following in his home area due to various development projects he brought to his people before joining politics," said Mbugua.

He maintained that there were higher chances of him retaining the seat after August 8 elections noting that he had consulted widely with the business community, religious leaders, supporters, and his family among other groups who encouraged him to vie as an independent candidate.

"Many groups have approached me and expressed their reservations on the outcomes of the Jubilee nominations. Some have visited me at home and in the office which made me feel duty bound not to let them down," said Mbugua.