Crowded race as 14 candidates fight for Alice Wahome's seat

A total of 15 candidates have been cleared by IEBC to run for the Kandara parliamentary seat currently held by Alice Wahome (pictured)

Those jostling for the 98,633 votes include Wahome and two former area MPs, Gacuru wa Karenge and Maina Kamau, who is currently the Murang’a deputy governor.

Others are Julius Kaberere (independent), Peter Ngugi (Jubilee), Mbiyu Kamau (independent), Njuguna Chege (Chama Cha Kazi), Stephen Mwaura (independent), Patrick Gitau (independent) and Kibiru PMG Junior (independent).

In 2017, only six candidates contested for the seat, with Wahome trouncing them on a Jubilee Party ticket.

Kaberere launched his manifesto on Friday, outlining his development agenda for the next five years.

“Kandara needs a leader who will champion construction of a level five hospital to save the locals from seeking services at Murang’a and Thika referral hospitals,” he said.

Most of the candidates are pushing for the construction of Bildad Kaggia Hospital that was promised years ago by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kaberere said if elected he will use his international connection with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to source for funds for development.

“There are billions of shillings out there if one is connected and they can be tapped and used to develop Kandara, which has lagged behind for years,” he said.

Mbiyu, who has vied for the seat since 2002, said the crowded race was due to expanding democratic space and social consciousness.

In Gatanga Constituency, Kariara Ward is the most competitive, with 17 aspirants seeking to unseat MCA Joel Murigi. The ward, which is among those with the highest number of voters in Murang’a County, is the home to Ndakaini Dam, which supplies water to Nairobi City and its environs.

In the latest figures, Kihumbu ini ward has 12 candidates, Kakuzi/Mitumbiri 12, Mugumoini 12, Gatanga 11 and Ithanga (nine).

Murang’a County Returning Officer Saumu Chirchir said a detailed report showing the breakdown of candidates across the various elective seats would be out by next week.