The Meru gubernatorial contest is promising to be a veritable battle of the titans, with Governor Kiraitu Murungi poised to face off with Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Woman Representative Kawira Mwangaza.
Already, the political rivalry between the three has been a titanic battle of wills, with Mr Munya seeking to redeem himself after being edged out by the incumbent in the 2017 General Election.
Ms Mwangaza is proving to be a thorn in Mr Kiraitu’s flesh with their supremacy battles playing out publicly and even in court.
Governor Murungi has dismissed Ms Mwangaza’s intensified campaigns against him, saying, she is not qualified for the position.
While Mr Munya has been tight-lipped on his next political move, he has on several occasions hinted at his intention square it out with Mr Murungi at the ballot on August 9 in a bid to recapture the seat he lost in 2017.
But it is Ms Mwangaza’s frequent forays across the county that have rattled Mr Murungi and Mr Munya.
Yesterday, Mr Murungi accused the Woman Rep of hoodwinking Meru residents. He further claimed that she will not be on the ballot “as she lacks the [academic] qualifications”.
“Should she produce a degree certificate, we will demand that the EACC [Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission] and DCI [Directorate of Criminal Investigations] investigate how she obtained [the document] because it must be fake,” he said.
“[Ms Mwangaza] will never be a threat to my political career because she has no clue about [the functions of a governor].
“The only formidable opponent is CS Munya, who I will also beat on election day,” Mr Murungi added.
The governor has launched a new political outfit, Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP), on whose ticket he will seek re-election.
In the past, Mr Murungi has described Ms Mwangaza, in unflattering terms.
Ms Mwangaza has hit the ground running on the campaign trail, promising to offer better leadership through prudent use of public funds.
She insists that she has two degrees and accuses the Meru governor of being scared of competition.
“The governor should stop intimidating me and focus on showing us the work he has done with the billions he has received over the past four years. I have a degree in education from Kampala University and another in transformational church leadership from Pan African Christian University,” she said.
The Woman Rep has won the support of Mr Kiambi Atheru, who shelved his bid to back her.
Ready for the race
“We’ve decided to team up with Ms Mwangaza to form a winning team. It’s a coalition arrangement that will see us form the government,” Mr Atheru said. Mr Murungi said he’s ready for the race.
“I’ve been in politics for the last 35 years with a record of having never lost an election and this is my last campaign. I can’t afford to lose so I’ve put in place a campaign machinery that will shake every corner of this county,” Mr Murungi said in an interview.
Despite Mr Munya declaring he will be in the race, his team has been weakened by the defection of key allies, including DEP Secretary-General Mugambi Imanyara to Mr Murungi’s camp.
In for a rude shock
But his close allies disclosed the CS will soon make a major announcement as the deadline for public officers to resign nears.
An advisor at the Agriculture ministry Julius Kimathi dismissed talk of the CS quitting the race.
“We’re doing a lot of groundwork and I’ll contest the Imenti Central seat. If anybody thinks they will win the race they’re in for a rude shock.
“We’re more prepared than we were five years ago,” Mr Kimathi said in a phone interview with the Nation.