As President Uhuru Kenyatta crafts his succession plan, one county that will feature prominently in his agenda is Nakuru.
The President is a regular visitor to his Gicheha farm in Rongai and some residents believe his retirement home will be in Nakuru.
He has a soft spot for the cosmopolitan county, which has been his second strongest political base after Kiambu.
And it is increasingly becoming clear Mr Kenyatta’s point man in the region is Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama.
PRESIDENT CALLS ME
The choice of Mr Arama is not surprising since the President has fallen out with Bahati MP Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri and Senator Susan Kihika.
Mr Arama joins Governor Lee Kinyanjui as the President’s trusted people in a region regarded the country’s hotbed of politics.
“President Kenyatta calls me regularly,” Mr Arama said recently.
The lawmaker added that his plan to lead a “huge” delegation from Nakuru to State House, Nairobi, was scuttled by the coronavirus outbreak.
“The President has confidence in me because of my consistency in politics. Our development agenda is similar,” he said.
Nakuru East MP David Gikaria and other politicians have joined Mr Arama in drumming up support for the President.
Mr Gikaria is one of the MPs in the region who have been staunch supporters of Deputy President William Ruto, though he seems to have fallen out with Ms Kihika and Mr Ngunjiri.
“Nakuru Town East and West constituencies are the heartbeat of this county,” Mr Arama said.
He added that MPs Samuel Gachobe (Subukia) and Kuria Kimani (Molo) have also left Dr Ruto’s camp “and now fully back the President”.
WILLING TO WORK WITH UHURU
Rongai MP Raymond Moi has stated his willingness to work with Mr Kenyatta.
Apart from Ms Kihika and Mr Ngunjiri, other Ruto allies in Nakuru are MPs Charity Kathambi Chepkwony (Njoro), Joseph Tanui (Kuresoi) and Woman Representative Liza Chelule.
Mr Andrew Nyabuto, a political analyst and commentator, said Mr Arama’s new role will be important in helping the President craft a lasting legacy for Nakuru.
“The President wants to show the other leaders that despite ditching him and supporting Dr Ruto, he can still deliver his agenda through Mr Arama’s stewardship,” Mr Nyabuto told the Nation.