Former CS Sicily Kariuki urged to 'come back home' for governor post

Water CS Sicily Kariuki during an interview at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club on February 10, 2022. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

A section of grassroots and opinion leaders in Embu now want former Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki to run for governorship in her home county.

Youth and women leaders drawn from the four Sub Counties of Runyenjes, Manyatta, Mbeere North, and Mbeere South say the Jubilee Party has no strong candidate in Embu and Ms Kariuki has a golden opportunity to win the seat.

Speaking in Embu town, the leaders observed that during her tenure in the cabinet, Kariuki initiated several development initiatives in Embu that include mega irrigation projects in the arid Mbeere and parts of Runyenjes.

The leaders also noted Ms Kariuki was instrumental in the construction of the mega Thiba Dam which is fully complete in the neighbouring Kirinyaga and which will also assist some Embu residents.

Led by Martin Mwangi, a former Member of County Assembly, the leaders said the irrigation projects had transformed the semi-arid lower parts of Embu that consist of Mbeere North, Mbeere South and parts of Runyenjes.

"We will be happy if our dear sister brings her expertise in leadership and development to her home county by being our next governor. Let her come and we will fully support her candidature," Mwangi said.

The leaders said since Governor Martin Wambora is on the final days of his 10-year reign, Embu needed an experienced manager like Kariuki to steer the county to greater heights.

“What we have seen in Nyandarua where our sister is being humiliated in public is not good. Let her come back to Embu and we will receive her with open hands because we know she can deliver. Please, our former CS, we need you here to succeed Wambora,” said the former MCA.

He noted that when at the helm of the health docket, Ms Kariuki assisted in equipping hospitals in Embu with the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment while the Embu Level 5 Teaching and Referral hospital was expanded and upgraded under her watch.

Mwangi further said that the former CS ensured that youths from the marginalised community in Embu were engaged in the National Youth Service (NYS) when she headed that ministry.

Regina Gaita, a woman leader, said many residents want Ms Kariuki to replicate the good work in Embu county by taking it to the next level since Wambora has finished his two terms.

“When she resigned we were looking forward to her coming back home to contest in Embu. We were disappointed when she announced she was going to Nyandarua. But it is not late, we have evaluated the people who are interested in the seat and we feel that no one can be compared to her,” Ms Gaita said.

The grassroots leaders called on the Jubilee Party to consider giving her a direct ticket should she heed the call since she is a strong grassroots mobiliser.

Manasses Mukundi, a youth leader in Embu, said the current leaders vying for the position do not match the former CS track record.

"Her experience will help the youths and small-scale traders in creating more jobs that will uplift the economy of Embu County.

Among those who have shown interest in the Embu Gubernatorial seat are Lenny Kivuti (former Embu Senator) Vying on Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP), John Muchiri (Manyatta MP) on the UDA party, Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire (UDA) and Njagi Kumantha on Democratic Party.