Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s recent declaration that she would defend the seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket has kicked off a storm with political bigwigs plotting how to outwit her in 2027.

After flooring veteran and better-resourced politicians to clinch the Meru Gubernatorial seat in 2022, Governor Mwangaza is now facing a horde of opponents.

Her predicament is aggravated by a longstanding rivalry with a majority of MCAs.

An effective grassroots mobiliser, Ms Mwangaza is seen as a force to reckon with even in future political contests, including the upcoming UDA party grassroots elections.

However, pressure is now mounting on political bigwigs, including Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, former Agriculture CS Peter Munya, her immediate predecessor Kiraitu Murungi and Senator Kathuri Murungi among others to put their heads together and produce a candidate competent enough to tame Governor Mwangaza.

The Meru governor has severally invited her rivals for a serious contest in 2027 to get a taste of her political skills.

“I urge my opponents to give me space to deliver on my manifesto. However, I will meet them in 2027 for a battle of their lives. If you don’t believe that I am a duly elected governor, dare me in 2027,” Mwangaza said recently.

Linturi and Kiraitu both lost to Mwangaza in 2022 while Munya and Mr Kathuri have hinted at a possibility of vying for governor in 2027.

Despite Munya having endorsed Mwangaza’s candidacy in 2022, the two politicians have since fallen out.

In a buildup to the 2027 contest, both Mr Munya and Senator Kathuri have intensified their presence in Meru.

While Senator Kathuri is using his Kamashinani foundation to sponsor more than 100 students to secondary school and donate medical equipment, Munya has enhanced his grassroots presence by attending community gatherings.

Speaking during a church service in Tigania East recently, Mr Munya said he would vie for the Meru governor seat to finalise the work he started in 2013.

“I have heard that Meru is not on the right path and there are requests that I come back to the governor’s seat. When the time comes, I will vie. Senator Kathuri is my friend and should give me space to complete the work I started in my first term as governor,” Munya said.

However, Senator Kathuri, who is also the Senate deputy speaker said he was ready to vie for any county or national position in the next election.

On the other hand, Mr Kiraitu recently hinted that he would remain active in politics and work with other leaders to ‘liberate’ Meru.

“The people of Meru are still on the cross. I will work with other like-minded leaders to rescue the county,” Kiraitu said during the Easter Sunday.

The Devolution Empowerment Party popularly known as Bus has maintained that it had not sanctioned Kiraitu’s retirement from politics.

“Kiraitu Murungi’s retirement will be decided by the Bus Party delegates. We did not sanction his retirement from politics and have the right to bring him back,” Bus Party Meru branch Secretary Alhaji Mwendia said.

As pressure mounts for a Kiraitu come back, politicians opposed to Ms Mwangaza’s style of leadership believe the imminent clash of the four political bigwigs would easily give the incumbent a through-pass in 2027.

Mr Frank Karuti, a political activist and vocal opponent of the governor said if the four politicians do not unite, ahead of the 2027 contest, governor Mwangaza would floor them once more.

“If each of you insist that you must vie for governor, you will surely lose to the incumbent,” Karuti told Linturi, Mr Munya and Kathuri recently.

Bus Party Meru branch Secretary Alhaji Mwendia added, “The day when Mithika Linturi, Peter Munya, Kathuri Murungi, and other politicians will have a cup of tea, the redemption of Meru will be nigh.”

Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi said CS Linturi, Mr Munya, Mr Kathuri and Deputy Governor Mutuma were ready to unite ahead of 2027.

“We will lock them up in a room for a conversation until they agree. That is how we will be able to floor Governor Mwangaza,” Aburi said.

Meru Assembly Majority Whip Jim Muchui said they were banking on Mr Linturi, Mr Munya, Mr Kathuri, and other senior politicians to unite ahead of 2027.

“Please do not confuse our camp. We are depending on you to give us one leader whom we will walk with,” Muchui said.

Responding to the calls for unity, Senator Kathuri said they were ready to set aside their selfish interests and agree on one candidate.

“We are mature enough to put our heads together and unite,” Mr Kathuri said.

Mr Linturi said there was a need for politicians to set aside selfish interests and work towards the public good.


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