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Five candidates join race to oust Governor Daniel Waithaka next year in Nyandarua County

By James Munyeki | September 8th 2016
Nyandarua Deputy Governor Waithaka Mwangi. He is one of the aspirants for Nyandarua County's gubernatorial seat. (PHOTO: ANTHONY GITONGA/ STANDARD)

With less than a year to the next polls, the number of aspirants eyeing the county governor's seat has increased to five.

Among those keen to wrestle the seat from Governor Daniel Waithaka are former Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, Deputy Governor Mwangi Kirika, educationist Moses Ndirangu, Simon Kanyingi and George Muchiri, an accountant.

The politicians are already lining up their political strategies, mobilising funds and criss-crossing the county in efforts to endear themselves to the people and sell their political agenda.

The candidates are also eyeing nominations on the Jubilee Party ticket, which is sure to see the party primaries hotly contested.

In the last General Election, the county emerged among the leading regions, with 98 per cent of the voters voting for Jubilee.

Governor Waithaka rose to power with the promise of transforming the agricultural sector. The county is among the leading producers of potatoes and horticultural produce.

But some residents have accused the governor of failing to transform the sector, and of high corruption in his government. 

Serious farmer

“We thought by electing him, since he is a serious farmer, all these sectors would be transformed and farmers would reap from their sweat. To date, we are still selling our potatoes in extended bags,” said Potato Growers Association chairman Samuel Muraya.

“The pyrethrum sector is still facing the same woes and it has not been revived four years down the line. We have seen little focus by the county government on this,” adds Moses Ndungu, a pyrethrum farmer in Ndaragwa.

But Waithaka dismissed these allegations, citing a court case that was filed by some businessmen halting the sale and packaging of potatoes in 50kg bags.

“It is in the public domain that we launched a campaign together with my colleagues from potato-growing counties so that potatoes could be sold in 50kg bags according to the law. But some people went to court to block it and we are still waiting for the ruling,” he said.

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