Tharaka-Nithi County has been thrown into early 2022 elections campaign mood after two camps emerged, pitting Governor Muthomi Njuki against Senator Kithure Kindiki.
In what is being seen as a precursor to a major battle, Prof Kindiki has been saying he regrets having supported Mr Njuki, a former ally-turned-foe, and apologised to the county residents for “misleading” them.
Speaking in Irunduni village in Tharaka Constituency Sunday during a thanksgiving ceremony for the principal of Tharaka University College, Prof Peter Muriungi, the Senate Deputy Speaker also apologised to former governor Samuel Ragwa for campaigning against him in 2017 and promised to support him for the senatorial seat in 2022.
Prof Kindiki accused Mr Njuki of embarrassing him by mismanaging the county’s resources and failing to deliver on any of the promises they made to the public during the campaign as they went round together as the Jubilee Party team.
“Some people warned me against supporting the governor but I insisted that he was the right person, not knowing that I would later regret it,” Prof Kindiki said.
The senator made the same remarks during a meeting in Kamanyaki village in Tharaka South Sub-County last week and promised to travel around the county apologising for supporting the governor.
Recently, Mr Njuki dismissed Prof Kindiki’s accusations as pure witch-hunting, in turn accusing the senator of intimidating him to in order to get public funds from him, saying he had evidence.
“I have told him he will receive no such money from me. I have evidence clearly showing his effort to try and solicit money from me. Make the noise, give your false stories, but I will not be part with anything. Instead, I will deliver on my manifesto,” said Mr Njuki in a press statement.
He further claimed that the senator was receiving an allowance from the former county executive and assembly for “protection”.
But Prof Kindiki denied the allegations and challenged Mr Njuki to present the evidence to anti-corruption agencies.
The growing rift between the two Jubilee leaders has thrown the small county into early campaign mode, resulting to realignments and formation of new political camps in readiness for the 2022 elections.
Prof Kindiki has never made public his intentions to unseat Mr Njuki, but his confidants have hinted that he will vie governorship in 2022.