Mwangi Kiunjuri now seeks to reclaim Laikipia East MP’s seat

Mwangi Kiunjuri

 The Service Party (TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri during the interview with the Nation at his office in Nairobi, on January 6, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

The Service Party (TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has for the first time publicly announced his intention to contest the Laikipia East parliamentary seat in the August 9 elections.

The former Agriculture Cabinet secretary will face three other aspirants allied to Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in his bid to reclaim the seat he had held for 15 years.

He first clinched the seat in 1997 under the Democratic Party.

Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru, incumbent MP Amin Deddy Mohamed and former MP Mutahi Kimaru will battle it out for the UDA ticket before facing Mr Kiunjuri.

"I am vying for the Laikipia East parliamentary seat so that I can represent my people at the country's top decision table. My track record is still visible (after) my 15 years’ tenure," Mr Kiunjuri said on Sunday at a football match in a tournament sponsored by TSP in Matanya village in the constituency.

He said he still backs DP Ruto’s presidential bid and is betting on a possible appointment.

"If I clinch this seat and Dr Ruto opts to appoint me to represent my people at a top level, I will have to resign, similar to what CS Charles Keter and Joseph Nkaissery did," Mr Kiunjuri said.

My constituents

"Even as I urge you to vote for my friend William Ruto, kindly vote for firm foot soldiers like Kiunjuri who will help him to run the government," he added.

In 2012, Mr Kiunjuri, the then Public Works assistant minister and Laikipia East MP – formed the Grand National Union (GNU) party as its leader while the late Nderitu Gachagua was its secretary-general.

GNU, just like The National Alliance Party (TNA), the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), supported President Uhuru Kenyatta (then a deputy prime minister) to clinch the presidency in the 2013 General Election.

In 2016, GNU merged with several other parties to form Jubilee so as to support President Kenyatta’s re-election bid ahead of the 2017 polls.

In the run-up to 2017 elections, Mr Kiunjuri was eyeing the Laikipia governor’s seat but shelved his plans after being advised by Mr Kenyatta to support the governor Joshua Irungu's re-election bid.

For her part, Ms Waruguru said she had dumped President Kenyatta’s Jubilee camp and joined UDA after consulting the electorate.

“From where we sit, my conversation with the generation of my people is forging ahead with the UDA party that is led by our Deputy President William Ruto,” Ms Waruguru said recently.

Mr Mohammed also joined UDA recently and plans to use it as a vessel to retain his seat.

“I, being your humble and loyal servant, would like to make it clear that after much consultation with my constituents and taking into consideration that we as Laikipia East constituency, having been sidelined for the last four years, hereby confirm my decision to join UDA party as our most convenient vehicle of choice,” Mr Mohammed said.

Mr Kiunjuri had been seen as the ideal person to be chosen as Dr Ruto’s running mate, but he has opted to run for MP, seemingly having run out of patience.

Other contestants for the position include Mr David Njoroge, Mr Michael Waigwa and Mr Anthony Rukwaro.

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