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Waiguru hints at seeking re-election on UDA ticket

POLITICS
By Winfrey Owino | September 22nd 2021
DP William Ruto and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru during a meeting with Kirinyaga county MCAs at his Karen residence office in Nairobi. [Charles Kimani\DPPS]

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has hinted at running for re-election on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party ticket.

Addressing a roadside gathering at Thiba area in Mwea, Kirinyaga County on Wednesday, September 22, the county chief said “the electorate will guide me on which party to run on”.

“Which political party do you want me to seek re-election on?” she posed to the crowd.

A section of the crowd shouted back, saying: “UDA!”

Waiguru asked the question for a second time and got a similar response.

“If I seek to defend my seat on that political party, will you re-elect me?” she posed again.

“Yes!” the crowd shouted.

“I would say, it’s the people who implored upon me to run on that party’s ticket, and that my decision was anchored on their wishes,” she said.

Waiguru has, in the last four years, pledged allegiance to both Jubilee and UDA, at different times of the political seasons.

In August 2019, Waiguru said the Mt. Kenya region was “ready to support Raila Odinga in the 2022 presidential contest”.

Odinga is the fiercest rival of Deputy President William Ruto, who is the foremost political figure in the UDA Party, that Waiguru has now hinted she might seek re-election on.

“If it is Raila [for President], he should know that the region will want a piece of his Government,” Waiguru said in an exclusive interview on KTN News in August 2019.

Waiguru, who, until November 2018, had a frosty relationship with Odinga described the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party leader, in the KTN News interview, as “someone who understands the significant role that women play in Kenya’s politics”.

The cocky relationship between Raila and Waiguru hit rock bottom in 2016 after the opposition leader linked her to the multi-million-shilling scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS).

Waiguru said, in the 2019 interview, that she had assured the ODM leader of her unwavering support for the handshake.

Prior to her camaraderie with Odinga, Waiguru and Ruto enjoyed a cordial relationship that saw the two meet at the DP’s Karen residence on August 23, 2018.

Waiguru, who has been a staunch supporter of the Uhuru and Raila team for the better part of Jubilee’s second term, often clashed with Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici, who, from the onset, supported a Ruto candidature in the 2022 polls.

The two are likely to clash for the UDA ticket as both of them have expressed interest in running for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat in the 2022 General Election.

On September 8, Ngirici said she was happy to welcome Waiguru to UDA after the governor said she was open to working with the Ruto-linked party ahead of 2022.

Waiguru’s warmup to UDA comes barely a month after the Court of Appeal threw out the BBI Constitutional push, which the county boss had played a role in popularising.

The Constitutional reform recommendations were being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

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