COUNTY POLITICS: Rough time for Rachel Nyamai after defying Ngilu, Kalonzo


Rough time for Rachel Nyamai after defying Ngilu

Hundreds of residents say they lost their land to brokers in questionable deals.

Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai faces serious challenges in her re-election bid.

Ms Nyamai, the only MP elected on a Narc ticket in Ukambani in 2013, broke ranks with her party boss and political mentor Charity Ngilu and joined Jubilee.

But she must first secure the Jubilee ticket in the primaries and then prepare to weather the combined force of Mrs Ngilu and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

DIRECT TICKET
Mrs Nyamai faces off with former Kitui South MP Samuel Kalii Kiminza in the primaries.

Afraid of losing to Mr Kiminza, she has asked the party to give her a direct ticket “like all MPs in the region who defected to Jubilee”.

Mr Kiminza, a long-time ally of President Kenyatta, having stuck with him since he first contested the top seat in 2002 has rejected attempts to coerce him out of the nomination.

The MP, who chairs the Health Committee in the National Assembly, argues that she disobeyed Mrs Ngilu because “Jubilee supported me in many ways, including ensuring that I remained the committee chairperson”.

“I would be ungrateful if I failed to team up with the colleagues I have worked with since 2013. A majority of my supporters wanted me to join Jubilee,” she told the Nation in a recent interview.

FATE
Last year, Ms Nyamai almost lost leadership of the prestigious committee when lawmakers accused her of blocking investigations into the procurement of 99 mobile clinics valued at Sh1 billion.

She survived when her Jubilee accusers were implored by the party to drop the ouster bid.

Apart from the nomination hurdle, the odds are clearly against her in two ways.

Kitui South voters have never re-elected an MP since 1983. Voters are known to elect former MPs.

Mrs Nyamai’s main challengers are Mr Kiminza and Mr Isaac Muoki, both former lawmakers.

NEPOTISM CLAIMS

Wiper is expected to nominate either Mr Muoki or his namesake Kennedy Muoki, who quit from the Judiciary.

The incumbent’s performance has also been put under a microscope, especially the management of the Constituency Development Fund.

There are reports that she influenced the appointment of her husband to the Tanathi Water Services Board where she also served before becoming MP.

The failure by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote to set up a cement factory in the constituency has also been a main campaign issue.

Hundreds of residents say they lost their land to brokers in questionable deals.