Kimani Ngunjiri dismisses opponents as political brokers

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The contest for the seat has so far attracted six candidates.

Of the 11 legislators from Nakuru County, Mr Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri is, arguably, the most vocal away from the floor of the National Assembly.

Fire spitting while tackling thorny issues on television and radio, Mr Ngunjiri is known to speak his mind.

But he is also not a stranger to controversy, having been caught up in several chaotic incidents, some which have ended up in court.

Popularly known to locals as OKN, the combative first time MP will be walking a tightrope as he faces both youthful and seasoned politicians out to challenge his re-election bid for the Bahati parliamentary seat in Nakuru County.


The contest for the seat has so far attracted six candidates. They are Mr Chrispus Anthony Wathimba, 36, who is making his first attempt to win the seat, Mr Charles Mbui, Mr John Mbugua, Mr Dedan Mwenda Gichuhi, Mr Peter Gutu and former area MP Bishop Joseph Kamau Kimani.

Bahati is a rich agricultural zone, famous for production of tomatoes, maize and other food crops.

Bahati is probably one of the most fertile areas in Nakuru County and is in fact referred to as the Canaan of Kenya because it experiences rainfall throughout the year.

But if Mr Ngunjiri’s grassroots support and the development record on the ground is anything to go by, it would not be easy to unseat the former Kanu operative.

EMPLOYMENT
Mr Ngunjiri’s critics accuse him of not articulating the issues affecting his constituents with the same zeal on the floor of the House as he does outside.

Instead, he uses the media to conceal his poor leadership skills and representation on the floor of the House, they claim.

However, the MP denies the claims and dismisses his critics as propagandists out to malign his name to gain political mileage.

Mr Wathimba says top of his agenda is the youth. He has strategies that would create more self-employment opportunities for the youths in the constituency.

“The average age of a farmer in Kenya today is 60 years old and that is why top on my to-do list is to engage young people to start farming at the age of 25 so that they can boost production and earn a living out of their sweat,” says the aspirant.

POOR LEADERSHIP
Mr Wathimba accuses the incumbent of ignoring the agricultural sector, which if properly run, could transform the area into a food basket.

“Leadership and good education is lacking in Bahati Constituency and that is why there is no sober discussion on the best way to take the development agenda to the next level,” says Mr Wathimba.

He says the incumbent has been a big let down as he has been unable to deliver on all his election pledges.

Mr Mbui, 40, says he is the best person to replace Mr Ngunjiri, whom he accuses of failing to deliver on his election pledges.

“I want to manage the CDF in a professional way by involving the community and offering leadership in the proposed projects. I also want to help the youth acquire entrepreneurial skills,” says Mr Mbui who is also a financial expert.

BISHOP’S AGENDA
Mr Mbugua, popularly known as “honest”, is also optimistic of capturing the seat and top on his agenda is addressing education, water and security issues, which he claims have been neglected by the incumbent.

Bishop Kimani, who was the area MP between 1993 and 1997 says he wants to make a comeback and complete projects he initiated.

“I want to use CDF money in a transparent manner to drill water, mobilise youths and women groups into forming saccos to transform their lives,” says Bishop Kimani

Mr Gutu, 67, who is making a third attempt, says he is the most experienced person to manage the CDF funds, having worked in the civil service for 33 years.

Mr Mwenda is hoping to improve on his past dismal performance at the nomination to convince the residents of Bahati to give him another chance.

But Mr Ngunjiri dismisses his opponents as political brokers and greenhorn who have no agenda for the people of Bahati Constituency.

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