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Race against time for county executives eyeing political seats

By Kennedy Gachuhi | Dec 15th 2021 | 3 min read

Nakuru County CEC for Health Dr Zachary Gichuki during an interview with The Standard in his office. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The electoral commission is set to gazette the next national polls on January 19, which will require civil servants eyeing various seats to resign by February 9.

With less than two months left, all eyes are now on the civil servants as their resignation will give a clear indication that they will be on the ballot.

Four members of Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s Executive have already shown interest in vying for parliamentary seats.

“I’m still consulting with the residents on which seat I should vie for in 2022, but yes, I will be on the ballot. I will announce my candidature when the right time comes,” said Peter Ketyenya, the Finance CEC.

In October, Ketyenya erected a billboard in Keringet town, Kuresoi South Constituency, for voter registration sensitisation and indicated that he would vie for Kuresoi South parliamentary seat. 

The seat is currently held by Joseph Tanui.

He lost in the nominations ahead of the 2017 polls. He was then picked as Kinuthia Mbugua’s running mate before the former governor pulled out of the race.

After his election in August 2017, Kinyanjui appointed Ketyenya as Trade and Cooperatives Executive and has since navigated through three key dockets at the county government.

Sources close to Raymond Komen, CEC Trade, have intimated that he is also aiming at the Rongai parliamentary seat currently held by seasoned politician Raymond Moi.

Health executive Zachary Kariuki Gichuki is also said to be aiming at the Molo parliamentary seat.

Since his appointment, Dr Gichuki has been keen on upgrading infrastructural projects in the health sector, with Molo sub-County among the major beneficiaries.

The seat will be highly contested as incumbent MP Kuria Kimani, his predecessors Jacob Macharia and Njenga Mungai are seeking to recapture the post.

Dr Gichuki has confirmed that he will be on the ballot for the parliamentary seat but was non-committal to disclose the party he will vie on.

“I will vie for the Molo MP but am yet to officially start my campaigns. I will work closely with parties allied to Azimio La Umoja,” said Gichuki.

Peter Mwaura, the Chief Officer in charge of ICT and e-government, is also said to be among the top contenders for the Subukia parliamentary seat.

Mwaura will face politicians, including incumbent MP Kinuthia Gachobe, Treasury Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie and Kabazi Ward representative Peter Mbae.

County Chief Officer for Environment and Natural Resources Muriithi Kiogora has also declared interest on the Nakuru Town East parliamentary seat.

“I will be a candidate for the Nakuru Town East parliamentary seat in 2022. I am yet to pick a party for which to vie on. Am still consulting with the electorate on the most favourable political vehicle,” said Kiogora.

“I will roll out my plan for the constituency soon when I will officially announce my candidature.”

The battle will however not be a walk in the park as he will have to face the incumbent two term MP and former Nakuru Mayor David Gikaria, former Mayor Ben Mwangi and County Speaker Joel Kairu.

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