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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fireworks Expected In Juja Constituency

William Kabogo looking more than a little worried when he was seeking a court order to avoid arrest by police earlier this year. The police wanted to charge him inconnection to the outlawed murderous Mungiki sect.

Election Analysis: Focus on Juja Constituency

There are those who insist that incumbent MP William Kabogo Gitau will smoothly sail back to parliament. Kumekucha does not quite agree. Although Kabogo will have to start as the hot favorite to retain his parliamentary seat, it will not be smooth sailing and what we will see in Juja will be a bruising no-holds barred battle.

Kabogo is extremely popular in his constituency, especially with youths. Thanks mainly to his habit of staying close to the ground throughout his entire tenure this last 5 years. And his wallet has been busy all over the constituency and many have realized that the relatively young legislator is much richer than was earlier thought. His ride (a noisy helicopter) has enabled him to efficiently be in many places almost at the same time. That helicopter will be one campaign tool that will give him a serious edge against any would-be challengers.

The fact that Mr Kabogo made it to parliament through the ticket of an obscure party called Sisi Kwa Sisi, should tell anybody interested in Juja politics, a lot.

This is how they voted in 2002;

SISI William Kabogo 20,897
Narc Charles Muchai 16,423
Kanu Stephen Ndicho 7,784
MPK Paul Hato 1,484
Safina Tony Gachoka 930
Ford-P Peter Kamau 583
SDP Peter Kiama 451
NLP David Nzioka 406

Registered voters: 104,385

As you can see, not even the National Rainbow Coalition wave was strong enough to sweep Kabogo aside.

The entry of George Thuo of Citi Hoppa fame into the Juja race has raised temperatures considerably and it is apparent that Kabogo is already feeling the heat. Thuo has been busy in the constituency dishing our generous donations to churches, women’s groups and schools. And although Kabogo identified himself with Narc Kenya right from the beginning, he has now fled from the party as George Thuo has firmly entrenched himself in it. Thuo is of course a close ally of powerful internal security Minister, John Michuki.

As a clear indication of how nasty this battle will be Kabogo at one time deliberately flew his helicopter very low over a George Thuo party in progress somewhere in the constituency, ruining the food with the cloud of dust he raised.

So which party is Kabogo in at the moment? There was a time that rumour had it that he was getting very close to the ODM high command and even flew them in his chopper to a meeting or two. However since the split of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, it has been difficult to read the situation and the legislator has played his cards very close to his chest.

But one major issue that is expected to emerge in the Juja race for parliament this time is the issue of the source of William Kabogo’s colossal wealth. Rumours have been flying for years and others have even claimed that they have evidence to support those rumours. The situation has not been made any better by the legislator’s closeness to the shadowy John Harun Mwau. It has been said that the Juja legislator is a drug baron. Assuming that he is not, it is still very difficult to tell where his money comes from.

Last time Kabogo defeated the holder of the seat then, Stephen Ndicho who is a born again Christian. In fact on losing his parliamentary seat, Ndicho became a full time preacher. It will be interesting to see what party Ndicho stands with this time round.

Others expected to stand for the same seat include, the Kibaki’s family friend, Dick Githaiga who is a building contractor, Kenya National Union of Tecahers secretary general, Francis N’gang’a, Kiama Wangai (a qualified doctor and qualified lawyer) and entrepreneur Enos Nzioka. Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a and Francis Waititu Munyua are also expected to run.

However it is expected that the race will mainly be between Kabogo and Thuo.

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