Chama cha Kazi gubernatorial candidate in Tharaka Nithi, Gitari Mbiuki, and his running mate Samuel Gaicura have dropped their bid and endorsed their Jubilee counterpart Prof Erastus Njoka.
The two were received by Prof Njoka and the county’s Jubilee campaign coordinator Mr Petkay Miriti in Chuka town on Saturday.
Speaking during the event, Mr Mbiuki and Mr Gaicura said they agreed to shelve their ambitions and support Prof Njoka because their manifestos are similar and the don has a high chance of winning the Tuesday polls.
“I have compared my manifesto and that of Prof Njoka and realized that we are focused on the same issues and that if we join hands we can win the polls and develop this county to a higher level,” said Mr Mbiuki.
He said the residents of the county are yet to reap the fruits of devolution because of rampant corruption by the county leadership.
The leaders also endorsed the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, noting that he has the potential to better the livelihoods of Kenyans compared to his Kenya Kwanza Alliance counterpart, Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Gaicura accused DP Ruto of neglecting small parties in Kenya Kwanza Alliance and favouring those running on his party, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Mr Mbiuki and Mr Gaicura stepped down and threw their weight behind the former Chuka University Vice Chancellor just a day after the county’s Wiper gubernatorial candidate Mr Nyamu Kagwima’s running mate, Mr Jonnes Munene ditched his boss and endorsed the don.
Narc-Kenya gubernatorial candidate, Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia’s running mate Micheni Ruriani, also dropped his bid and supported Prof Njoka on Tuesday this week, all citing a weak ticket.
The move deals a huge blow to Governor Muthomi Njuki who is seeking a second term on a UDA party ticket.
Ameru Professionals Association led by Tharaka University acting Vice-Chancellor and the Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders county chapter led by their chairman Mr Kangori M’ Thaaara have also endorsed Prof Njoka for the coveted county chief seat.
Prof Njoka has also welcomed Dr Mzalendo and Mr Kagwima to join him so that they can have a smooth victory and develop the county together.
“I sincerely welcome Mr Mbiuki and Gaicura and also appeal to Dr Mzalendo and Mr Kagwima to join the winning team so that we can develop our county,” said Prof Njoka.
He claimed that some politicians were buying identification cards from his strongholds and that he had reported the matter to the relevant authorities.
“My competitors have already sensed defeat and have resulted in buying identification cards and bribing voters,” he said.
Efforts by Governor Njuki to convince his deputy Mr Kagwima and Dr Mzalendo to support him have turned futile with the two maintaining that they would not work with him.
“I am urging Dr Mzalendo to join me now that his running mate has ditched him,” said Mr Njuki during a campaign rally at Kibung’a market yesterday.
Mr Kaugi Mboya is the other contender seeking governorship on an independent ticket.
Those who have shelved the ambitions have claimed that they did not do so for any reward from Prof Njoka but for the sake of their residents.