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We haven't stepped down for Ferdinand Waititu, four Kiambu aspirants say

By Kamau Maichuhie | February 19th 2017

Five Kiambu gubernatorial aspirants James Nyoro, Ferdinand Waititu, Bishop David Ngari, Njoki Gathendu and John Mugwe in a show of unity during a prayer meeting. (Photo: Kamau Maichuhie/Standard)  

Four Kiambu County gubernatorial aspirants have denied claims by Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu that they have stepped down in his favour.

Businessman James Nyoro, David Ngari commonly known as Bishop Gakuyo, trader John Mugwe and Njoki Gathendu have formed an alliance dubbed the “Thika Declaration”, in a bid to unseat incumbent William Kabogo.

The aspirants made the announcement at St Patrick’s Primary School in Thika during a prayer rally.

But in a twist of events, Mr Nyoro has denied any deal to step down for the legislator. Mr Waititu, during a Citizen TV show, said the other four aspirants had agreed to step down for him to run against Mr Kabogo.

“I never announced anywhere that I will step down for Waititu. Such reckless statements should be treated with the contempt they deserve. I am urging residents to ignore the remarks,” said Nyoro.

Mugwe and Gathendu have also denied existence of any agreement to have Waititu as the flag bearer adding that they will not be part of any coalition whose main agenda is to unseat Kabogo.

“I want to state categorically that I have neither sat down with Waititu to discuss any merger nor told him I would step down for him. It was suggested at a prayer rally that we unite to serve Kiambu people, but Waititu went on TV to say we have agreed to step down for him,” said Mugwe.

A source privy to the goings-on disclosed that negotiations to have a compromise candidate were on, but the biggest challenge was convincing Nyoro and Waititu to swallow their pride and have either of them agree to be the other’s running mate.

A walk-over

“Both Waititu and Nyoro feel they are the only ones entitled to be the alliance’s flag bearer. None of them wants to compromise. We hope reason will prevail and have one of them back down since if they go separate ways, Kabogo will have a walk-over,” said the source.

Nyoro was trounced by Kabogo in the 2013 polls after garnering 198,890 to Kabogo’s 400,282.

Waititu, Nyoro and Mugwe hail from Limuru and Kabete in upper Kiambu while Gakuyo and Gathendu are from Thika and Ruiru in the lower Kiambu.

Governor Kabogo remains unfazed. Speaking during a meet-the-people tour in Ruiru on Wednesday, he said he is not worried because his track record is good enough to get him re-elected.

“I hear that five people have come together with the sole aim of defeating me. I want to let them know that I will show them dust at the ballot. This year’s election will be my fifth one and I can tell you I’m not prepared to lose,” he said.

Kabogo’s director of political affairs Mr Paul Kabeu rubbished the newly formed alliance. “We are confident the governor will be re-elected,” he said.

James Mwangi a political analyst notes that the formation of an alliance would make the race interesting.

“Such new developments would no doubt cause the governor sleepless nights to lay ground for his re-election strategies. It would come to make the race for governor exciting,” says Mr Mwangi.

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