Mwangi wa Iria, with reelection almost assured, gazes at 2022

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s re-election bid met its last obstacle following his thrashing of Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau to clinch the Jubilee Party ticket.

Earlier, a series of politically instigated cases which culminated in charged senate grilling and publicized EACC appearances nearly saw him knocked out.

Those opposed to his re-election had sought to portray him as corrupt. And failed.

Seen as one of the strongest examples of devolution successes, Wa Iria would receive backing from strange quarters, including from ODM supremo Raila Odinga.

With a petition to remove him from office having collapsed, and impeachment proceedings having faltered in the Senate, Wa Iria approached Jubilee nominations with Hon. Jamleck Kamau as the main opponent.

It was therefore quite a shock that Jamleck, who had clothed himself as President Uhuru’s ‘favourite’ during the Jubilee nominations race lost in every constituency and ward and polling station in Murang’a County.

The Kigumo MP then toyed with the idea of running as an independent, but quickly abandoned the thought, because the outcome would have been more career shattering than what befell him at nominations.

Wa Iria is facing a little known Dr. Moses Ndung’u, an off-shoot of Murang’a power brokers led by Equity Bank Chairman Peter Munga who are fearful of losing the grip of Murang’a politics to the new disrupting forces who appear not to respect the long held tradition of cowing to the monied and the propertied.

Wa Iria vs Ndung’u is a classic case of a clash between the haves and the have-nots. In majoritarian political processes, we all know who are the majority.

Observers say Wa Iria’s reelection is certain. What now bothers his backers is post-Uhuru posturing, especially if current Deputy President William Ruto sticks around long enough to need a Mt. Kenya (read Kikuyu) runningmate. This of course assumes that Jubilee will defeat NASA in August.

For this, Wa Iria is remodeling himself as not just Murang’a leader but a potential Kikuyu leader after Uhuru and a potential deputy president and a future president. He is keen to win the Auguts election by pandering to local political terrain yet at the same time he is casting everything that projects him as one of those typical Mt. Kenya “noismakers” ala Moses Kuria.

Written by Kahawa Tungu


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