Njuri Ncheke elders sideline Kajuju in favour of TV station owner

Baite Television owner Kawira Mwangaza. She has been endorsed by Njuri ncheke elders for the position of woman representative. [File, Standard]

A group of Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders has endorsed Kawira Mwangaza for the position of Meru woman representative.

The Njuri Ncheke elders who met at ASK showground at Gitoro on Monday threw their weight behind the Baite TV station proprietor who is seeking to dislodge the incumbent Florence Kajuju.

The elders, who were with their Chairman Paul M’Ithinkia and Secretary General Phares Ruteere, ‘blessed’ Mwangaza’s candidature, saying they support her because of the humanitarian work she has been doing for the community.

Mwangaza (pictured) has an initiative dubbed ‘Okolea’ which identifies needy residents and, through her TV, mobilises the community to raise funds for them.

The initiative has helped fight jiggers among the poor.

“As Njuri, we are with Mwangaza because she is our daughter, and she has done well for the community. She has been with Njuri so we are not going to leave her,” said Mr M’Ithinkia.

Forest shrine

M’Ithinkia asked the elders to work hard to ensure that Mwangaza sails through during the Jubilee Party nominations on Friday.

As tradition dictates, Mwangaza was not allowed at the forest shrine but was represented by her husband Murega Baichu.

Mr Baichu thanked the elders for endorsing Mwangaza and informed them that she defected from PNU because she wanted to be part of the Jubilee government.

But the endorsement was immediately condemned by another group that claims to be the bona fide officials of the council.

The group, led by Secretary General Josphat Murangiri, castigated M’Ithinkia’s group for taking sides.

“Elders are not supposed to be partisan in larger Meru (Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties) politics. All aspirants are children of Njuri so our role is to wish all of them well, not to side with any politician or political party,” said Mr Murangiri.

However, Murangiri said the elders are supporting the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“But we should not take sides in governor, senator, MP and MCAs’ contests. Any elder is free to support them as individuals, and leave the council out of it,” Murangiri said.

Ms Kajuju said that she was firmly in the race.

“It is not up to the elders to say who they want. It will depend on the voters,” she said in a brief statement.