Election 2022: Molo MP Kuria Kimani faces acid test

Facing tough competition: Molo MP Kuria Kimani [Archive,Standard]

Molo MP Kuria Kimani is facing an acid test as he seeks to retain his seat in a constituency where no MP has been re-elected since 1992.

The unforgiving locals have been voting out leaders in what has been perceived as punishment for unfulfilled political promises.

Njenga Mungai is the only one who has held the position for two terms in 1988 when Kenya was a one-party state and in the first multi-party democracy election in 1992 under the Ford Asili.

He lost the seat to the late Dixon Kihika Kimani (DP) in 1997 who was succeeded by Macharia Mukiri (Narc) in 2002. Mukiri lost to Joseph Kiuna of PNU in 2007.

With the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010, the constituency was split into Molo and Njoro. Jacob Macharia (TNA) was elected in Molo as Kiuna became the first Njoro MP in 2013.

The two failed to retain their seats in 2017, with Macharia losing to the incumbent Kimani of Jubilee.

Kuria, a youthful MP, is determined to secure a second term in the August 9 elections against six other candidates and be the first to break the jinx of the constituency rendering its leaders one-term MPs.

“I am confident I will be re-elected. I have delivered most of my promises if not all,” said Kuria.

Kuria, who is defending the seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, has cited education and increased rural electrification as some of his achievements.

“I brought integrity and fairness in bursary issuance. I initiated five primary and two secondary schools including a boarding facility in Marioshoni. I constructed science labs in nearly all the schools,” said Kuria.

The MP, who is also the chairman of Africa Young Parliamentarians, also boasts of having completed and commissioned Molo Technical College and the Molo KMTC campus.

“All roads under national government are murram with Njoro-Molo road 70 per cent complete. I was among the champions for the elevation of Molo to a municipality which translates to more funds for development,” said Kuria.

His competitors include Dr Zakayo Gichuki (Jubilee), Nancy Njoki (DP), his predecessor Jacob Macharia, Florence Kabii, Peter Kairegi and Judy Sang who are vying as independents.

Voting in Molo: Njenga Mungai is the only politician to retain the Molo parliamentary seat twice. [File, Standard]

Dr Gichuki is making his first attempt in politics having resigned from the position of Nakuru County executive in the Health department earlier this year.

“As Health executive, I oversaw massive infrastructural development and a threefold increase in revenue collection. None of our health centres lacked drugs,” said Gichuki.

The medicine and surgery graduate from the University of Nairobi says he will use his lobbying skills to ensure effective service delivery. “I will focus on ensuring improvement of key roads to ease movement of people and farm produce to markets,” said Gichuki.

He added that he will lobby both levels of government to provide financial resources for the revival of the pyrethrum sub-sector.

“I will ensure prudent management of CDF, Women Enterprise Fund and the Youth Fund. This will be achieved through a strategic development plan that I have drawn,” he said.

Macharia, the former area MP, says his comeback is aimed at completing his dream of ‘Making Molo great again’, especially in the education sector.

“We shall establish six new secondary schools and a similar number of primary schools in areas where our children trek for kilometres to access education. Education will unlock our untapped potential,” said Macharia.

He says he will improve infrastructure. “We shall build a slaughterhouse in Molo town to replace the old colonial one. This will improve sanitation and allow for the slaughtering of more animals which will ease demand,” he said.

Ms Njoki says Health, Agriculture, Education, Youth empowerment, and Roads top her manifesto as she seeks to become the first female Molo MP.

“I will establish a skills data bank and empowerment programmes. I will ensure 45 per cent of labour needed in development projects is sourced locally to empower the youth,” said Njoki.

She holds a Master’s degree in international relations and wants to use her networks to invite investors who will set up value addition factories for local farm produce.

“Am not new to leadership. Am looking forward to delivering a life-changing impact and setting an example for women and youth,” said Njoki.

Mrs Kabii, who has been branded as Mama Afya, says that although health is a devolved function, she will ensure the national government provides the necessary support to improve the sector.

“If elected, I will lobby and push for Bills that will ensure health facilities are well funded. Their expansion will ensure residents don’t have to travel elsewhere for services,” said Kabii.

Kairegi, whose symbol is a knapsack sprayer, said his agenda will be around Agriculture, Health, Education, Security and Roads.

“The current and previous leadership have left gaps that have denied the residents services. I bring new leadership committed to serving the people of Molo,” said Kairegi.

Ms Sang believes it is time for a change in Molo leadership saying young women can deliver if given a chance.

“By voting for me, Molo people will be voting for change, equity, peace, and unity. My choice for Jembe as a symbol spells out my intention to bring positive change in the agricultural sector,” said Sang.