Raila's campaign chairman beaten in Laikipia governor race

Ndiritu Murithi

Azimio La Umoja presidential campaign board chairman Ndiritu Muriithi addressing the media in Nanyuki on August 10, 2022. 

Photo credit: James Murimi I Nation Media Group

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi had been trounced by his predecessor Joshua Irungu in Tuesday’s elections, according to provisional results. 

Mr Muriithi, the chairperson of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya campaign board, garnered 48,812 votes.

Mr Irungu, the county's first governor at inception of devolution, received 113,830 votes.

He was also the chairman of the finance committee at the Council of Governors.

Mr Muriithi was defending his seat via President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee party, while Mr Irungu ran under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which is led by Deputy President William Ruto.

Businessmen Mburu Kamau (independent), Mr Gitonga Kabugi (Narc Kenya) and Mr John Wakaba (independent) were also in the race. 

In 2013, Mr Muriithi defied The National Alliance (TNA) party, then spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta, to seek the county’s top seat.

Instead, he ran under the United Democratic Forum (UDF, then led by Musalia Mudavadi. He was trounced by Mr Irungu, then under TNA.

In 2017, Mr Muriithi contested the Laikipia governor’s seat again as an independent candidate and clinched it. He defeated Mr Irungu, who ran under Jubilee.

In Tuesday’s polls, Mr Irungu came back to reclaim the seat.

In September last year, Mr Muriithi made a bold move as the first governor from the Mt Kenya region to host Mr Odinga in Nanyuki.

During the two-day visit governors James Nyoro (Kiambu), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) and Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) joined Mr Muriithi at Maiyan Hotel and presented a wish list to Mr Odinga regarding the region's economy and empowering small businesses.