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Uhuru visits Juja as campaigns intensify ahead of May 18 polls

By Fidelis Kabunyi | May 9th 2021

Billboard of aspirant Susan Njeri Waititu in Juja on April 25, 2021. [David Gichuru,Standard]

The two main political parties have pitched tent in Juja for the last-minute hunt for votes ahead of the May 18 by-election. 

The seat fell vacant following the death of Juja MP Francis Waititu, popularly known as “Wakapee”. Waititu died on February 23 at MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi while undergoing treatment. He had brain cancer.

President Uhuru Kenyatta made a brief visit to Kimbo to drum up support for the Jubilee candidate, Susan Njeri Wakapee.

The Standard learnt that the President made a stopover after visiting his home in Ichaweri, Gatundu South.

With one week to go, Jubilee Party’s top brass comprising Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and his predecessor William Kabogo, Ruiru MP Simon King'ara and former Dagoretti West MP Denis Waweru marshalled their troops.

The campaigns in the expansive constituency is now turning into a two-horse race.

The Jubilee team on Saturday descended on Juja to sway the votes in favour of Jubilee’s Njeri.

Governor Nyoro urged Juja residents to shun divisive politics and instead embrace development-oriented leadership.

“The Jubilee administration has solid plans that will continue to transform Juja. I urge you to desist from being sold propaganda and choose a leader who will pick up from where Wakapee left,” Nyoro told Theta residents.

He called on voters to elect a leader who will join forces with the government to address poverty and unemployment, especially in slum areas like Weithethie.

On her part, Njeri promised to bring sweeping changes in Juja within a year of being in office.

“We would want to see better healthcare and education for the people of Juja. If you support my candidature, I would bring about the much-needed infrastructural overhaul in this area,” she said.

Dennis Waweru and his team addressed another rally at Juja where he said President Kenyatta is solidly behind Njeri’s candidature.

Some of the contestants have resorted to door-to-door campaigns, social media and use of development projects to woo voters seeing as Covid-19 regulations ban rallies.

Although Juja is largely perceived as a Jubilee turf and President Uhuru’s backyard, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria seems to be thinking otherwise.

He has been campaigning for People’s Empowerment Party candidate George Koimburi who previously sought the Jubilee ticket but defected to PEP.

Koimburi ran for the seat against Wakapee and came a distant second with 10,165 votes against the winner’s 66,190. 

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