Happening Now: President Ruto at funeral service of DP Gachagua's brother
Former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita has denied dropping out of the Machakos gubernatorial race as he warned his challengers to brace for a fierce battle.
Azimio la Umoja Coalition Party secretary-general and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed ignited the talk on Mr Waita withdrawing from race on Thursday during a rally where Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka announced re-joining Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Mr Mohammed excited the supporters of Mr Waita's main challenger, Wavinya Ndeti of Wiper party, by identifying her as “the incoming Machakos governor”.
On that day, unconfirmed reports on social media claimed the Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) had dropped out of the race. Mr Nzioka dismissed the talk as “baseless propaganda” engineered by his challengers. “We are in the race to win it,” he told the Saturday Nation.
Similar friendly fire among candidates in the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza Alliance is in the offing across the region as the two coalitions face an acid test on their strengths. Major parties in the two formations have lined up multiple candidates ready for the August 9 General Election.
Although the friendly fire is reported in Kitui and Makueni counties, it is more pronounced in the race to succeed Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua which is shaping as a two-horse race pitting Ms Ndeti and Mr Waita who has been appointed by Mr Odinga to head Azimio campaigns in Machakos County.
The Nation understands that Mr Musyoka has been canvassing to have Mr Waita out of the race in a bid to enhance Ms Ndeti’s chances of winning.