Kirinyaga gubernatorial race – An analysis

It is exactly 5 months since we did the last analysis (18th Sep 2021) of the Kirinyaga governorship race.

And as they say, a day is a long time in politics; 5 months can be a lifetime! Since then, a lot of dynamics have changed and the equation flipped, creating a whole new scenario where some candidates have gained, others have lost and even some others have remained afloat just enough to be noticed.

At the moment:

1. Anne Waiguru ~ After realizing that her previous efforts to revive her 2017 euphoria were not working, embattled Minji Minji has since switched gears and adopted a new two prong approach premised on; selling her performance record as governor, real or imagined, as well as riding on the UDA wave that has been dominating the county for sometime …. Sadly for Mumbi, there is still a long way to go. The ever stubborn Abai voter is not buying any of her performance tales yet. Wanjiku of Kirinyaga appears to have concluded ages ago that Waiguru has not been performing and that case is closed! And whereas her shifting to UDA caused some initial excitement, it may end up not helping her in the long run. In fact, her entry into UDA appears to have diluted the Hustler wave in Kirinyaga; a classic case of one trying to suck some petrol for his empty Toyota V8 from his mûgûka probox so that both vehicles can move. By the time the V8 is able to even ignite, the probox will be completely crippled!

2. Wangui Ngirici ~ After suffering a major setback with Waiguru’s entry into UDA, forcing helpless Purity to scamper for safety in the Kieleweke side, and eventually retreating to recreate her game all over again as an independent, Wangui has re~ignited her quest to be the next county CEO with vigour akin to that of a wounded lion. Crisscrossing tens of Kirinyaga’s villages, towns and shopping centres each single day, Wangui is no doubt the most aggressive candidate at the moment, keen on building a new solo brand. And she appears to have learnt a bitter lesson from her Karen days; despite being pro~Azimio, she is keen on putting up her own fight away from the Raila campaign. Whether this approach will work, only time will tell. Also, whether she will be able to dilute the longstanding fear of the Ngiricis whose over generosity and real intention raises serious eyebrows among the ever paranoid Abai people, only time will tell.

3. Martha Karua ~ The candidate who had the best initial chances 5 months ago is on a downward trajectory. The nolstagia of her old iron lady days she had succeeded to reignite is fast fading away. Her casual approach to her candidature, lack of a clear winning push, failure to front a Wanjiku~resonating agenda, indistinct branding and operating with an old network that has zero ground touch has left as the candidate who has lost most in the past few months … Failure to come out clear on whether she wants to be a presidential running mate or a governor isn’t helping either. At this pace, she might end up like that very talented long distance athlete who never won any race because she spent half of training time focusing on 10,000m and the other half training for marathon, not sure which one of the two she would participate in. Politics hates flip flop and lack of clarity.

4. Senator Charles Reubenson Kibiru ~ Initially seen as an underdog, Kibiru is no doubt the candidate who has gained so much in the recent past, currently in the same pedestal with Wangui Ngirici in terms of chances. His move to ride on the Azimio bandwagon and positioning himself as the ultimate pro~Uhuru candidate appears to have given him quite some mileage. His coming up as the only serious male candidate in a women dominated race is also working quite well for him. The male card might actually cause lots of damage especially in a county where many silent voters are keen to prove that they are not forever ruled by women. This not-pronounced undertone is very strong in mûng’etho talks and social conversations across Kirinyaga. Even a good number of women voters appear to be against another woman taking charge. His posture as a sober politician, and a clean, scandal~less record appears to be appealing to quite a sizable section of voters. But again, Kibiru still has lots of work to do. He has to leave halls and leaders forums’ setting and go directly to Wanjiku to sell his agenda. He has to undo the old narrative that he is never on the ground, to better his chances.

5. H.E. Peter Ndambiri Deputy Governor Kirinyaga County ~ Only campaigns in his rural village of Murinduko, Mwea East. Hard to get close to the seat unless Murinduko has Tharaka Nithi kind of votes. The incumbency baggage of Waiguru regime has refused to leave him either.

6. Comba Wa Ndau ~ Clueless, plannless, directionless … It’s hard to understand what really inspired him to contest.

7. Peter Gitau ~ The once revered Mwea MP has completely been unable to ever announce his arrival in the governoship race.

8. Muriithi Kagai ~ Difficult task to analyze a candidate who is only visible in WhatsApp groups. I mean, what would you make of an aspirant who is contesting for governorship via NARC Kenya, a party whose owner Martha Karua is also contesting for governorship? In Kenya?

9. Governor Joseph K. Ndathi ~ Is he still vying?

As for any others, they should perhaps consider adopting my ever successful plan … Ile ya kusimama kwako kwa bedroom, kwa kitanda … Ukianguka unaangukia mtu ama unalala … Siasa waachane nayo kabisa ….


Kînyamû kîbana ûgu andû aitû …. Makasiriko itumwe P.O. Box The Chronicles Main Shrine, Tari Nduîkushire, Kirinyaga County …

© Mr. Chronicles Alvan Kinyua, C.G.P.