Waititu now sets eyes on Kiambu governor seat
Former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu’s victory in the Kabete Jubilee Alliance Party primaries is expected to shake up county politics.
Mr Waititu is almost guaranteed to win the seat, which fell vacant following the killing of George Muchai in Nairobi last month.
Already, there are pointers that Mr Waititu’s term could be characterised by an uneasy relationship with Governor William Kabogo.
After Mr Waititu’s victory on Saturday, MPs and ward representatives opposed to Governor Kabogo’s policies immediately aligned themselves with the combative politician.
Mr Waititu said he would seek to oust Mr Kabogo as the county’s governor in the next elections.
MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika), John Kiragu (Limuru) and Esther Gathogo (Ruiru) were among the first people to congratulate Mr Waititu when they visited the tallying centre at Ndurarua.
On Sunday, Mr Ichung’wa posted on “United States of Kiambu”, a county Facebook fan group: “Congrats to Baba Yao who now becomes baba wetu! Pamoja tuendelee, tuokoe Kiambu”
Mr Waititu was handed the JAP certificate by Mr Ali Aden Noor, the returning officer.
He garnered 14,696 votes, beating 12 other hopefuls. His closest challenger was ex-State House employee Mburu Kang’ethe who got 2,336 votes, followed by former Kikuyu MP Lewis Nguyai with 1,950 votes.
Senate Majority Leader Kindiki Kithure, Kericho Senator Charles Keter and Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau told Kiambu MPs to work with Mr Waititu, saying the JAP nomination was a direct ticket to the National Assembly.
After Mr Waititu was given the certificate, his supporters who were following the results from a screen outside, immediately started chanting “Kabogo must go.”
Ward reps led by Mr Karungo Thang’wa (Ngewa) and Mr Njenga Murugami (Limuru Central), who are strong critics of Mr Kabogo’s leadership, celebrated with Mr Waititu.
They said Mr Waititu was a saviour of the county “which has known no peace since the March 2013 elections”.
“The outcome is wake up call to the county leadership; they should be very afraid. Now we have our ‘baba yetu’ who will be a force to reckon with. We will fight to ensure the county leadership is accountable and transparent,” Mr Thang’wa said.
Komothai Ward Rep Mburuti Kinuthia said fearless leaders like Mr Waititu would put Governor Kabogo in check politically.
“Mr Waititu is the Kiambu David who will fight our version of Goliath. We are happy that Kabete people have given him the JAP ticket,” Mr Mburuti said, insisting that Mr Kabogo had found his match.
Mr Waititu was considered an outsider but he said he had roots in the constituency since his grandparents hailed from Karura ka Nyungu Village.
His entry in the county politics caused jitters in Mr Kabogo’s camp.
Ward reps allied to the governor include Deputy Speaker Anthony Macharia and Assembly Chief Whip Charles Arahuka.
Mr Macharia said Mr Waititu wanted to scuttle Mr Kabogo’s intention of succeeding President Kenyatta as the Central Kenya political kingpin.
“You all know where we are headed. Uhuru will lead the country for 10 years. After that his deputy, William Ruto, will be the President and he will require a deputy. Why does Waititu want to spoil for Mr Kabogo yet we know that he (Waititu) can’t be Ruto’s number two,” Mr Macharia said at an event in Kabete presided over by the governor two weeks ago.
Mr Waititu said the county leadership was afraid of him.
“The situation is comparable to two hornless bulls which have been fighting for some time without any winner being declared. Now they (the Kiambu leadership) know that the one with horns has arrived. I always and will always stand for the truth, whether it will be in favour of the governor or his critics,” Mr Waititu said.