Supporters of Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi on Friday allegedly disrupted a meeting convened by Jubilee party to pick officials who will handle nominations in the county.
The governor reportedly hired goons a day prior to the meeting with a clear plan to force his preferred candidates into the election board.
The process was marred by violence after it became clear that Ndathi’s candidates were on the verge of losing with the goons hurling objects at Jubilee Party officials and other aspirants present.
Kirinyaga governorship aspirant Anne Waiguru, who was among those present, condemned the violence and called on Jubilee Party to take action against those responsible.
She said: “The people of Kirinyaga are peace-loving and the chaos witnessed today does not in any way mirror what they are.”
“It is unfortunate that Governor Ndathi can orchestrate such an odious act with the aim of forcing his people into the election board.”
Waiguru noted that the chaos were a clear sign that Governor Ndathi had realised that the ground has shifted right under his feet and he is set for defeat in the nominations slated for April.
“It is the people of Kirinyaga who will pick their candidates, not election board officials. Therefore it is puzzling that someone can resort to violence to try and force his people into the board.
“I call on Jubilee party and the government to take action against those behind the chaos, including barring them from vying in the nominations.”
Waiguru further noted that it was not necessary for Jubilee secretariat to place the responsibility of picking election board officials on the aspirants since some are trying to manipulate the process.
She noted: “We will wait and see what the party headquarters will decide. It is however okay if they want to pick the officials for us because all we are interested in is a team that will ensure free and fair nominations.”
“There was a list that was out from which we were to elect nine officials. It should have been a very simple and peaceful process, like when we elected county officials.”
“The people of Kirinyaga are very peaceful and I have even been preaching the message of peace throughout my campaigns. Such ugly scenes should not be condoned.”
Governor Ndathi who is seeking to defend his seat faces a tough challenge from the former Cabinet Secretary who has received immense support from the constituents owing to her development record as Devolution CS.
During her time at the Devolution Ministry, Waiguru rebranded and relaunched NYS, turning it into a source of income for the youth, launched slum upgrading programmes, the Youth Fund as well as Uwezo Fund which helped to improve sustainability among youth and women.
She is also credited with the launch of Huduma centres countrywide which have helped deliver public service at the grassroots, even receiving a UN innovation management award.
The Kirinyaga governorship aspirant has upped her campaign in the region meeting boda boda operators, business leaders, youth and women groups, and religious leaders as she seeks to solidify her support and clinch the seat.
Governor Ndathi has been under immense attack for allegedly squandering billions of county funds meant for development and failing to fulfill his pre-election promises to the people of Kirinyaga.