Why Francis Kimemia, Sicily Kariuki's fate in race for governor lies with Uhuru

 Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia is seeking the Jubilee ticket for the Nyandarua Governor seat. [File]

The political fate of Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia and former Water Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki now lies with President Uhuru Kenyatta after the Jubilee Party failed to hand the incumbent the nomination certificate last week.

Intrigues surrounding the candidature of Mr Kimemia and Ms Kariuki, have seen Jubilee officials refer the case to party chairperson President Uhuru Kenyatta for arbitration. On Friday last week, Jubilee Party Election Board Chairperson Stephen Wandeto and Director for Elections Kanini Kega issued nomination certificates to all aspirants in Mt Kenya region including those from Nyandarua except governor aspirants. 

The Standard has learnt that the governor was summoned to the Jubilee headquarters on Thursday last week, where he waited in vain to be handed the certificate only for the party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni to declare that the matter was now beyond him and is now in the hands of the president. Mr Kimemia told The Standard that it was now up to the Head of State to unlock the stalemate over who between him and Ms Kariuki would get the Jubilee ticket ahead of the General Election.

“We are waiting for communication from the president,” he said.

In an earlier communication to the media, Ms Kariuki said the party’s top brass was still deliberating on the matter and would announce its decision soon.

“I held a closed-door meeting with party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni. He has reassured us that the Nyandarua governor ticket has not been issued yet. I urge my supporters to remain calm as we await the final decision from the party,” she said.

Suspended campaigns

Anxiety has gripped the county after Mr Kimemia and Ms Kariuki suspended campaigns for the past two weeks over uncertainty on who will fly the Jubilee flag in the governor race. Despite the governor being touted as the best bet to ride against the United Democratic Alliance party wave in the county, the delay in Jubilee naming its candidate has dented his campaign and upset the support base.

Meanwhile, UDA has nominated Moses Kiarie alias Badilisha to contest for the Nyandarua governorship. Another contestant is Nyandarua Speaker Ndegwa Wahome who will vie on Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) ticket. Mr Wahome’s fate, however, now hangs in the balance after CCK revoked his nomination certificate, barely two weeks after handing it to him.

CCK leader Kuria has declared that the party will not present a candidate for the seat and would instead throw its weight behind the UDA nominee Mr Kiarie.