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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kenya's First Woman Governor Coming But Oh My What A Political Battle It Will Be?

Kenya has no single woman governor. But I can tell you for sure, barring something extra-ordinary happening between now and the general elections next year, the country will receive its' very first Madam Governor.
President Uhuru is welcomed to Kirinyaga by Martha Karua
Ann Waiguru will be doing a lot of this to get the JUBILEE ticket for Governor of Kirinyaga
And I can even tell you from which county. Kirinyaga County of course.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you which of the two most recognizable women in the country will end up winning the seat. Martha I-support-Uhuru-but-will-not-join-JUBILEE Karua versus Ann Scandal-allegations-Kibao Waiguru is set to be one of the most fascinating political battles in the history of our dear country. But the battle will start and end with the primaries. Let me explain.

Actually it should have been a straight forward land-slide victory for Martha who is so wildly popular in Kirinyaga that she has never lost a single elections there (I am not counting the presidential ballot where she was a candidate in 2013). 

In fact why don't we start with those election results to illustrate why Martha is going to have some serious problems contrary to what I said in this earlier post.

In those 2013 polls the president received a total of 231,868 votes representing a staggering 96.7% of the votes cast. Home town girl Martha received a paltry 2,438. Even Raila beat the iron lady in her home town gannering a respectable (for him in the area) 3,471 votes.

In them votes is a very clear story. The voters who have never abandoned Martha in decades simply did not see her when voting. She was NOT in JUBILEE and anybody not in JUBILEE in Kirinyaga might as well not be in the ballot.

This is further illustrated by what happened yesterday when the president and his deputy visited Kirinyaga. Martha was there to wlecome him. They even hugged fondly with the head of state. But when Martha stood to speak something strange happened. She was wildly cheered as she made her way to the podium but when she opened her mouth to speak she was drowned by shouts of JUBILEE. The other candidate, Ann Waiguru (did not speak). Read the whole story. In my view this was a smart political move. Give the people time to forget the scandals and get used to her as a candidate, seems to have been the idea. Considering that Kenyans voters DO NOT have the memory of an elephant and are easily swayed by emotions, especially of the tribal nature, this was the only smart play yesterday for Waiguru. In my view had Waiguru tried to speak she wuld have been greeted by defeaning... SILENCE.

So the question now is how will Kirinyaga vote? Blindly for JUBILEE or will they forgive their favourite daughter, Martha for being in the wrong party and throw some votes her way if she soldily supports President Uhuru's re-election?

For any seasoned political analyst on Kenyan politics that question is a no-brainer. The Kirinyaga folks will blindly vote JUBILEE (even if it is Raila who will be given the ticket). End of story.

However having analyzed politics in this our country for decades now, I can tell you that Martha will in the end be forced to abandon her principles and join JUBILEE. And if for some reason she doesn't she will lose. It is as simple as that. 

No politician likes a brusing battle and it is for that reason that Ann Waiguru's the-most-expensive-handlers-money-can-buy will find a strategy to keep Karua away from JUBILEE. That is all they have to do to win. In fact after Waiguru has been declared they can pack their bags and go to sleep and wake up to listen to the election results whilst extremely bored at how predicatble it is going to be.

And that my dear friends is where the brusing political battle for the Kirinyaga governsorship will be... in the primaries and especially in the pre-primaries stage which by the way has already started.

Another very likely scenario which will be even more exciting to behold, will be Martha sticking to her guns and going door to door to tell her people why they need to vote for her and Uhuru. And why they will need to grit their teeth and wince in great pain when they tick a non-JUBILEE box for governor.

Get that popcorn and your favourite beverage folks, the action has already started.

See also: Reinvent your office to impress blue chip clients and do it cheaply

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