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Nine aspirants seek to succeed Mwangi Wa Iria

The race to succeed Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has gathered steam, with at least nine aspirants declaring interest  18  months to the 2022 General Election.

In what is promising to be a heated contest, the seat has attracted seasoned politicians, former and current top government officials and business tycoons.

Wa Iria is set to leave office in 2022 after serving two terms as provided in the Constitution.

The governor has declared interest in the presidency through the Usawa Kwa Wote party.

Transport CS James Macharia, Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Woman Representative Sabina Chege, former Senator and Kemsa Board chairman Kembi Gitura and former Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau are among the heavy weights in the race.

Others are Water PS Irungu Wairagu, former Transport PS Irungu Nyakera, Equatorial Nut CEO Moses Mwangi and engineer Henry Gaate.

Political analyst Peter Kagwanja who hails from the county observed that a number of factors – individuals development record, closeness to the people and Kenyatta succession politics – will determine the next governor. 

“The fluidity of Mt Kenya politics will not tell you who the front runner for the seat is until we conclude the Kenyatta succession politics,” Kagwanja, who is also seeking the Senate seat, said.

Murang’a politics is being controlled by two blocs: Murang’a North, where Wa Iria, Chege and Kang’ata come and Murang’a South  from where Mwangi and Kamau hail.

Mt Kenya MCAs caucus chairman Charles Ng’ang’a said the politics of Kieleweke and Tangatanga will also determine the next governor.

“In Murang’a, the battle for a governor will be between the North and South as well as Tangatanga verses Kieleweke,” Ng’ang’a said.

Wa Iria has said he has no favourite candidate and that all candidates are free to campaign without antagonising his relationship with MCAs.

Last week, the governor said some candidates are known to incite MCAs against incumbent, which he said will not be condoned.

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