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Kihika, Ngunjiri war splits UDA as Ruto, Mudavadi visit

By Justus Karanja

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has welcomed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) brigade and their Amani National Congress together with Ford-Kenya for their "mother of all" rallies in the region.

He said: “In the spirit of political tolerance we welcome them to Nakuru. As we have said in the past, the people of Nakuru have the capacity and intelligence to make their choices.  Running government is not a showbiz but a serious undertaking based on record and policy. To the newlyweds, enjoy the honeymoon and while at it let me remind you of the chichidodo story.

This is a bird that is found in West Africa, and is known for its deep distaste of human excrement. It cannot stand the sight. In a strange turn of events, the bird only survives on maggots that thrive on faecal waste. This delicate relationship of contradictions is replicated in our politics.

This election will be about electing good leaders while discarding the maggots and the Chichidodos.”

But even as Deputy President William Ruto visits the region, with his latest catch, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, UDA is sharply divided into camps.

Already, there is supremacy war between Senator Susan Kihika and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri which has nearly halted UDA’s operations in the region.

The two have been traversing the county seeking to enlist aspirants for elective posts in the General Election to join their camp.

Kihika has announced she will seek to dethrone Governor Lee Kinyanjui, the latter who has vowed to defend his seat of Azimio la Umoja ticket.

Kihika will vie for the seat on UDA ticket.

Ngunjiri, who has announced he will defend his parliamentary seat on UDA ticket, has, however, pledged to marshal UDA supporters to reject Kihika’s gubernatorial bid, terming her as unreliable.

Ngunjiri has even threatened to campaign for Kinyanjui even if the governor will defend the seat on a party that will not be backing Ruto for presidency.

But since Ngunjiri broke ranks with Deputy President’s allies in parliament by voting for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the vocal MP has found himself an isolated man as Kihika has won over a majority of UDA supporters on her side.

The Senator has won the trust of the Deputy President and is being propelled to be the party’s leading light in Nakuru at the expense of the MP.

Kihika has even set up UDA Nakuru County coordination team comprising her supporters, former MCAs and influential businessmen from the region who bankrolled Jubilee Party in the last two elections.

The senator has sidelined Ngunjiri and his allies in the new UDA team, something which has made the Bahati legislator withdraw his support for her gubernatorial bid.

”I saw the direction she is taking and I thought it would be messy if she is elected as the Governor of Nakuru. I don’t want to be associated with her. Count me out of her support team,” Ngunjiri told a local daily recently.

The MP has been attacking Kihika and her camp, stating they were getting preferential treatment within the political outfit.

Ngunjiri has been accusing Kihika camp of moving around the county alleging they have Ruto's blessings to conduct affairs of the party.

"We are aware of agents of disunity moving around hoodwinking people that they have the blessings of the Deputy President to control affairs of UDA in Nakuru,” Ngunjiri told a local daily.

His complaints came days after he voted in support of BBI that had been opposed by the majority of politicians allied to the DP. 

Despite suspicion from Ruto's associates, Ngunjiri has insisted his allegiance still lies with the DP and is keen to build UDA. 

The two leaders’ differences played out in public in Naivasha late last year.

It all started when Kihika accused the Bahati MP of being indecisive and unsure of which political camp to support.

She added that Ngunjiri had stabbed his colleagues who are still loyal to the Deputy President on the back by voting for BBI.

The senator, who made it clear she will be running for the Nakuru gubernatorial seat in the 2022 general election, wondered who would dare trust a man who blows hot and cold every other day.

She further said according to her, it spells an unreliable character who switches sides depending on where his bread is being buttered that evening.

But Ngunjiri while responding to Kihika’s accusations cautioned her against fighting President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The MP alleged that Kihika’s real motivation behind running for Nakuru governor’s seat in 2022 polls was to get back at Uhuru for ordering her removal as Senate Chief Whip.

Ngunjiri told Kihika that politics does not revolve around her but the Nakuru residents and Kenyans want to respect the first in command and allow him to finish his term peacefully.

“My friend, politics is not about you but Nakuru residents. We want to respect the President and allow him to drink tea at State House with his successor,” he said.

The MP went on to wonder why some politicians like Kihika were keen on disturbing the head of state’s peace.

He went on to dare them to try it one more time and they would see his wrath adding that he will not allow Kihika’s political plans to divide Nakuru residents.

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