The race for Kiambu gubernatorial seat is getting hotter and more complicated as five political heavyweights jostle to outfox each other ahead of the August 9 polls.
Incumbent governor James Nyoro (Jubilee), Senator Kimani Wamatangi (UDA), ex-governor William Kabogo (Tujibebe Party), Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria (Chama Cha Kazi), and Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina Jungle (Independent) are among the front runners embroiled in a cutthroat fight to take over the leadership of the vast and wealthy county.
Also in this vicious contest are outspoken policy expert and IT specialist Mwende Gatabaki (Independent).
The eloquent graduate of Salford University is the daughter of Senior Chief Peter Gatabaki and the wife of renowned economist David Ndii, who is currently working for Deputy President William Ruto as a chief advisor in matters of economy.
With only two weeks left for voters to head to the ballot, temperatures appear to have risen exponentially and candidates have started throwing tantrums at each other.
On Monday, July 26, Kuria was caught on camera showing his competitors a middle finger during a campaign rally in Kiambu.
Although it is not clear who specifically he was targeting in his public antics, Kivumbi.co.ke understands the controversial lawmaker has been at loggerheads with his UDA opponent Kimani Wamatangi.
The two politicians are backing Ruto’s presidential bid under the Kenya Kwanza alliance but that has not stopped them from going at each other’s throats in the quest to clinch the Kiambu gubernatorial seat.
They have been engaging in nasty political confrontations even in the presence of the DP, who is their only unifying factor.
On July 10, Kuria and Wamatangi clashed during a UDA campaign rally in Gatundu led by Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua.
In a video that surfaced online, the MP was captured dancing on top of a car as Wamatangi struggled to address a highly charged crowd that was chanting Kuria’s name.
The second-term lawmaker later accused the senator of focusing on popularizing his gubernatorial bid at the expense of promoting Ruto’s presidential bid.
This confrontation happened barely a week after Wamatangi and Kabogo exchanged salvos in another chaotic rally that nearly degenerated into full-blown violence.
The incident forced the former governor to pull out of Kenya Kwanza joint campaigns and has since been running his own campaigns and partially leaning towards the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party.
With 14 only days before elections, emotions have started flaring up with Kuria, Wamatangi, and Kabogo being constantly at the center of it.
Latest opinion polls have ranked Wamatangi ahead of his competitors followed by Governor Nyoro, Kabogo, and Kuria in that order.