Koigi rekin­dles ri­valry with Ki­hika fam­ily

In 1979, Koigi de­feated Ki­hika in Nakuru North and is now set to take on Ki­hika’s daugh­ter for se­na­tor, 36 years later

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Rift Valley - RITA DAMARY @TheS­tarKenya

Veteran politi­cian Koigi Wamwere’s en­try to the Nakuru se­na­tor race has rekin­dled his ri­valry with Ki­hika Ki­mani’s fam­ily.

Koigi de­clared his can­di­da­ture on Wed­nes­day in Nakuru. He will face Ki­hika’s daugh­ter for the Ju­bilee Party ticket.

In 1979, Koigi de­feated Ki­hika in Nakuru North and is now set to take on Ki­hika’s daugh­ter for se­na­tor, 36 years later.

The for­mer de­tainee dis­solved his Chama Cha Mwananchi party and joined Ju­bilee Party.

His in­ter­est in the Nakuru se­na­tor race is ex­pected to change dy­nam­ics in the race, which has al­ready at­tracted sev­eral as­pi­rants.

In 1974, Koigi gave Ki­hika a run for his money but lost. Five years later, Koigi was at it again with Ki­hika, vy­ing for the same seat and won.

How­ever, Koigi’s ten­ure was cut short af­ter he was de­tained and his ri­val Ki­hika won the by-elec­tion.

Koigi again lost to James Mungai in the March 4, 2013 gen­eral elec­tion. He is among politi­cians po­si­tion­ing them­selves ahead of the elec­tion.

Koigi’s de­ci­sion to join Ju­bilee has shocked many as he has been vo­cal in crit­i­cis­ing the govern­ment and its poli­cies.

In the re­align­ments, sev­eral lead­ers, in­clud­ing Nakuru county assem­bly speaker Su­san Ki­hika, Paul Mwith­aga, lawyer and busi­ness­man Karanja Kabage are eye­ing the Se­nate seat cur­rently held by James Mungai.

“I will en­sure more funds go into the county and fol­low them up to en­sure they have been put into good use,” Koigi said.

Early this year, Ki­hika, nick­named ‘Nakuru’s Iron Lady’, said she is ready to serve in any po­lit­i­cal seat the res­i­dents would ask her to con­test.

“I have lis­tened to all who have asked me to go for the Se­nate seat and I prom­ise them I will not let them down. For the time be­ing, I am con­tented with be­ing speaker of the county assem­bly,” she said.

Ki­hika said she will en­sure lead­ers de­liver their pledges to the elec­torate and trans­form the county’s econ­omy.

“The fact that I have re­ceived sup­port from res­i­dents and lead­ers, in­clud­ing some MCAs and MPs, shows they be­lieve I can make a dif­fer­ence in this county. But for now, it is im­por­tant to con­tinue de­liv­er­ing ser­vices,” she said.

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