By Prudence Minayo
The highly publicized Kiambaa by-election came to an end after weeks of charged campaigns between camps allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. The battle to clinch the seat, that fell vacant following the death of Paul Koinange, was between United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate and eventual winner John Njuguna Wanjiku and Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama. Njuguna garnered 21,773 while Njama came a close second with 21,263 votes.
Going to the elections, Njuguna said it was an opportunity to make a statement confirming that Kiambaa was a hustler-nation stronghold. A number of leaders from Mt. Kenya showed their support including Mathira constituency MP Rigathi Gachagua and Meru senator Mithika Linturi.
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The newly elected Member of Parliament is 35-years-old.
Njuguna is a resident of Kiambaa who was brought up by a single mother named Wanjiku. Growing up, life was not easy as the mother did menial jobs to support him. He attended local schools in his area and upon completing began ‘hustling’ to sustain himself.
The 35-year-old is an entrepreneur whose forays in the world of politics eventually paid off. Njuguna knows what it means to work really hard to survive. For example, at one point, he sold matumbo (intestines) in order to make a living.
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On 15th July 2021, residents of Kiambaa cast their votes and the following day it was announced that Njuguna had won the parliamentary seat, beating his closest opponent Kariri Njama with a few votes. The whole UDA, including the DP, were ecstatic with the victory and it affirmed their stranglehold of the Mt Kenyan region. The elated leader further acknowledged God for having helped them strain the victory.
In his campaign manifesto, he had promised to prioritize programs that will address the needs of the ordinary citizens in Kiambaa constituency. He vowed to support policies that will facilitate the successful implementation of the bottom up economic model. He also promised to ensure that public schools in the area have been improved and that he would promote/ develop technical schools.
A while ago, the MP was allegedly kidnapped by people claiming to be police officers. According to Njuguna, the four men undressed him, and tortured him before dumping him in a forest in Uasin Gishu county. The then aspirant said the kidnappers threatened to kill him if he continued to support the deputy president.
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