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Political newcomers scoop Nyeri MP seats

The 2022 general election have not only painted Nyeri County yellow with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) scooping all Parliamentary seats but also seen political novices trounce seasoned politicians to secure victory in some of the county’s key constituencies.

In Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri county assembly speaker, John Kaguchia defeated the incumbent Antony Kiai who was serving his first term as a MP.

Kaguchia who was vying on a UDA ticket garnered 25,804 votes while Kiai managed 10,322 votes out of the 58,534 votes cast while Kiai was vying on The Service Party (TSP) ticket.

The Jubilee Party candidate Kariuki Muchemi came a distant third with 3,391 votes.

The Mukurwe-ini MP elect first joined politics in 2017 when he was elected as the Member of County Assembly for Mukurwe-ini central ward. He was consequently sworn in as the assembly’s second speaker after the general election.

In Othaya constituency, the UDA candidate and Othaya businessman, Wambugu Wainaina carried the day after garnering 26,976 votes out of the 44,676 votes. The incumbent, Gichuki Mugambi who was defending his seat on a Jubilee Party ticket got 9,019 votes.

Patrick Ngunjiri who was vying on a Chama Cha Kazi ticket was third and managed 7,152 of all the votes cast.

In another surprising twist, Tetu residents lived up to their history of failing to re-elect legislators for a second term. The Member of Parliament race had attracted a total of nine candidates, where eight were male and one was female.

The incumbent lawmaker James Gichugu of Jubilee was trounced by newcomer Geoffrey Wandeto of UDA who got 19,887 votes. He was followed by The Service Party candidate Francis Gachigi, who got 11,039 votes while Jubilee Party Martin Luther King Githigaro got 2,546 votes.

Total number of registered voters was 54,986 though only 38,314 of those came out to cast their votes.

The Kieni Parliamentary seat attracted a total of seven aspirants among them the incumbent Kanini Kega who is also the Jubilee Party Elections Coordinator.

Kega who was seeking a third term as Kieni MP lost to UDAs Njoroge Wainaina alias Cieni who garnered 45,371 votes to become the MP elect. Kanini came second with 25,002 votes.

Kega is the only MP in Nyeri County who survived re-election during the 2017 general elections.

In Nyeri town, the one-time political advisor to first Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua and dental technologist Duncan Maina won. Maina was making a second stab at the Nyeri parliamentary seat and managed to floor the current MP Wambugu Ngunjiri of Jubilee party by garnering a total of 41,007 votes.

Ngunjiri came a distant second by scoring 11,808 votes in a contest that had attracted more than ten candidates. Upon receiving his certificate from Nyeri Town Constituency Returning Officer Peter Mauta, the MP elect thanked the people of Nyeri Town for showing confidence in him by electing him as their next legislator.

He has also pledged to work closely with all elected leaders in the county to ensure the residents of the area are offered quality service while at the same promising to use the opportunity to unite the electorate and fight drug abuse.

“I wish to thank all those who voted for me to be their next Member of Parliament in the next five years. I also wish to work with all elected leaders in the entire county to ensure there is quality service delivery to our people,” he said.

“I also want to take an active role in fighting drugs and crime which have destroyed the majority of our young people,” said the MP elect amid a raucous jubilation from his supporters.

The Mathira parliamentary seat also appeared headed to be taken by a political novice, Eric Wamumbi, according to early provision results. He was seeking his first term in office as MP on a UDA ticket.

Wamumbi who was the Konyu ward MCA was named by the incumbent Rigathi Gachagua, as his preferred replacement after he was named as Ruto’s running mate.

Surprisingly, in all the six constituencies, no woman won a single Parliamentary seat.

By Wangari Mwangi and Samuel Maina

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