There is confusion, as Ms Chege, who has been absorbed in Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns, is yet to give a clear indication of intent to plunge into the crowded gubernatorial race.
The incumbent has given mixed signals, sometimes coming out as interested in the parliamentary slot in her matrimonial Mathioya Constituency or her birthplace of Kigumo Constituency.
The Woman Rep race has attracted radio journalist Ms Waithira Muithirania, nominated MCA Ms Lucy Nyambura Ngugi, a former director of Athi Water Works Development Authority (AWWDA) Ms Betty Njeri Maina, Ms Waithera Kibinda and Ms Rebecca Waruguru.
All in the race, except the radio journalist, are UDA affiliated parties. Ms Waithira is eyeing the Jubilee Party ticket.
Ms Freshia Muthoni Chege, a former adult education teacher, will be vying on Governor Mr Mwangi wa Iria’s Usawa Kwa Wote party ticket.
Just like Ms Nyambura, Ms Muithirania is from Kandara. Ms Maina comes from Kigumo Constituency.
Ms Maina and Ms Kandara are perceived as influential and moneyed. They have already hired roadshow trucks mounted with loudspeakers and have been crisscrossing the seven constituencies with dancers.
To spice their campaigns, the aspirants who have identified themselves as daughters of the Murang’a County are trending with unique slogans.
Ms Muithirania is referred to as “Nyanya Nyanya”, meaning she is as pretty as a ripe tomato. Ms Maina’s is “Betty ee Sawa” meaning Betty is the best. Ms Nyambura is “Ngatha ya Murang’a” meaning the heroine of the county.
The Jubilee aspirant who lost in a race with Ms Chege in 2017 is getting crucial backing from MPs Mr Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Mr Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga), Ms Wangari Mwaniki (Kigumo) and Mr Muturi Kigano (Kangema), who has been accompanying her to public functions.
After emerging second in the 2017 race, she now says she will work towards transformation, with a focus on gender issues, focusing more on women and youth, who she says have been marginalised for a long across the county and country.
As Ms Chege returned to Parliament for a second term, Ms Muithirania was appointed to the board of directors of the Kenya Industrial Estate (KIE).
In 2013, Maragua MP Ms Mary Wamaua tried her luck against Ms Chege but failed. She was later nominated at the Murang’a County Assembly.
Ms Wamaua says youth comprise 65 per cent of Murang’a County's population and there is an urgent need for the leadership to support their economic empowerment programmes.
Ms Nyambura says her focus will be on interest groups, youth, women and people with special needs. She has vowed to ensure there is equitable distribution of bursaries for the needy students, including those with special needs who in the past have been ignored.
“I will also work towards nurturing of talents for example soccer, music drama among others,” she added.
Ms Maina has promised she will work towards empowering the youth and women who for long have been abandoned in the villages. “I will spearhead a move to raise the voice of the women and the young to ensure their interests are factored in the government budget,” said Maina.
Ms Muthoni said her interest is to care for the young mothers and venerable persons in the community. “Should I be elected, I will establish mentorship programmes targeting the youth and women, bursary schemes and value addition initiatives,” said Ms Muthoni.
Ms Waruguru, 26, said her key focus will be giving youth and women a voice saying they have been totally ignored while Ms Kibinda said she will aspire to lift the living standards of all residents of the county through programmes and projects.