Governor Kinuthia Mbugua will need to assemble his best political ammunition to retain the Nakuru seat in the next General Election if the humiliation he suffered before President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto this week is anything to go by.
His experience during the two-day visit in Nakuru by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto could be a wake-up call to the governor, who might need to reconsider his strategies, after what appears to be growing discontent over his leadership style.
Political analysts were unanimous that Mr Mbugua will have to rethink his strategy ahead of the 2017 election.
In what was one of the most embarrassing moments for Mr Mbugua since he was elected, the governor was booed by a crowd that had gathered on Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru Town when he attempted to address them.
Mr Mbugua, who was atop the deputy president’s vehicle, was forced to swallow his words, with the DP patting him on the back in consolation.
Mr Mbugua was jeered to the point that he could not utter a word as the crowd shouted “Hatutaki Mbugua! Hatutaki Mbugua” (We don’t want Mr Mbugua!).
Even though Mr Mbugua said his political detractors organised the jeering, political analysts noted the ground is hostile to the governor and that the heckling could be a pointer to the extent of frustration among Nakuru residents over unfulfilled promises.
There is also a feeling that the governor is detached to the needs of the residents and has failed to end cartels holding the county hostage.
Mr Mbugua recently made efforts to connect with residents through an outreach programme where he takes his office to the 11 sub counties on a rotational basis.
There was hue and cry in the town when he attended the burial of one of the outlawed Mungiki members who was murdered in January, with a section of residents accusing him of having ties with the group, claims which he dismissed.
There were signs of everything going wrong for the governor during the President’s visit as it seems the tour caught him off-guard.
Apparently, the governor was not expecting the President this week. Saturday Nation learnt from county staff that the governor had information that the Head of State would visit on Thursday next week.
He had left the country on Saturday for a trip to the Netherlands and was scheduled to return this Friday.
He managed, however, to return by Wednesday morning, right on time to receive the President at Kamara in Kuresoi South where Mr Kenyatta made a stop after commissioning the Chemususu water supply and treatment plant in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.
On day one of the Nakuru visit, he accompanied the President for the rest of his tour through Molo and Elburgon in Njoro and even got a chance to address the gatherings at several stops.
Even though the governor was at the Nakuru State House breakfast meeting, it was Mr David Gikaria, the Nakuru Town East MP who stole the show, even sitting on the high table.
Ordinarily, Mr Mbugua, as the chief executive of the county, should have taken the centre stage in such an important forum.
His office did not also play any role in the preparation of the list of invited guests, but instead, it was coordinated through the County Commissioner’s office.
At the first stop of the two principals in Nakuru town, Mr Mbugua did not address the public.
Interestingly, Nakuru Town West MP Mr Samuel Arama as well as Mr Gikaria were handed the microphone by the President to speak to the crowd as Mr Mbugua looked on in disbelief.