With less than 11 months to the general elections, the battle for the North Imenti Parliamentary seat is already shaping up, with several new entrants declaring their interest in ousting the sitting MP Rahim Dawood.
Undeniably, party dynamics are expected to play a central role in deciding the next North Imenti representative in the August house.
UDA is arguably the Party of choice for several Meru candidates, just like several other parts of the country, and the Party’s primaries are expected to attract several contestants.
But will Hon Rahim Dawood convince the Meru people that he deserves another term? Will the newcomers pull enough masses to clinch the seat?
In the 2017 polls, Rahim garnered a total of 29,042 votes, against Silas Muriuki Ruteere, who came in second with 28,894 votes, having contested on a Mazingira Greens Party of Kenya ticket.
Other contestants in the 2017 race were Rajesh Valji Hirani of the National Vision party (NVP) with 3,950 votes, Kenneth Muriuki Muketha of NARC-Kenya with 2,618 votes and Beatrice Karwitha Kiragu of Maendeleo Chap Chap Party with 1,822 votes
Independent candidates Isaac Kinoti Marete, Paul Murangah Mugah, Patrick Mwongera Mwenda, Kanyamu Douglas Mwiti and Tedd Gatobu garnered 409 votes, 379 votes, 78 votes, 340 votes and 264 votes respectively.
Beatrice Karwitha Kiragu was born and raised in Kambereu, Giaki location of Meru County. A trained teacher at the University of Nairobi, Karwitha also holds a Degree in Procurement.
A close ally to ODM Leader Raila Odinga, Beatrice Karwitha currently serves as a member of the Nairobi County Wards Development Fund Committee, having been appointed in the month of May 2021.
Having unsuccessfully contested for the same seat in 2017, Beatrice insists that her motivation to vie emanates from her inner desire to provide opportunities for the youthful population.
In efforts to give the less fortunate a chance to pursue their dreams, Karwitha has partnered with her local church – Giaki Catholic Church to build a school for improved education in the area. Beatrice has also worked in various community income generating projects such as buying tents, water pipes and poultry rearing projects.
The outspoken Meru Municipality MCA was born in a ghetto called Gakanatene in Makutano known for brewing chang’aa. In his childhood days, Murega engaged in chang’aa brewing while his mother roasted maize at Makutano.
Murega received praises from several Meru residents after he vehemently opposed the BBI Bill when it was tabled for debate at the County Assembly.
It is not yet clear on which political party he will be seeking the seat, having been associated with several outfits in the past, among them Mwangi Kiunjuri’s TSP, Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC and Maendeleo Chap Chap led by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.
Carol Karimi Muriuki
Carol Karimi will be contesting for the North Imenti seat in a yet to be named party, and believes she is the safest pair of hands for the constituency.
Karimi says she has the resolve and will to take the leadership of North Imenti to a new level of development and prosperity.
“I am offering new leadership aimed at restoring North Imenti back to it’s former glory. Vote me in and I promise good leadership, prosperity and development,” she says.
Karimi says her agenda for the North Imenti people is to restore and rebuild the constituency to the highest levels possible.
“I borrow cues from leaders such as Governor Charity Ngilu who has revitalized the cottage industries in her county and spurred economic growth in Kitui. This is part of my agenda for North Imenti, to start and resurrect the most basic of our economic activities while still modernizing them for maximum results,” she says.
Wakili Ken Muriuki
Wakili Kenneth Muriuki will be seeking to do it differently in the 2022 general elections, having garnered 2,618 votes in 2017.
In efforts to tap into the youthful electorate in North Imenti ahead of the polls, Ken Wakili has sponsored several sporting activities across the constituency, among them the North Imenti Kandanda Mashinani Champions League.
“With youths forming the largest population segment in our country and constituency, we will only experience change when their full potential is exploited positively to the betterment of the country,” says Wakili Ken.
Wakili Ken believes that over-reliance on CDF for development is to blame for the woes facing the constituency, citing funds lying unclaimed from the National Government.
“My predecessors either lacked the know-how or the will to get resources for our people. I have both the know-how and the will and I know I am the best representative for our people,” he says.
Having defeated all the other contestants in 2017, Rahim will be channeling all his energies towards retaining his seat in 2022.
Rahim won the North Imenti seat in 2017 on a Jubilee Party ticket. However, with the dwindling fortunes of the ruling party in the region, Mr. Rahim is expected to decamp to DP Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Pundits however argue that apart from the challenges that face all incumbents, his anti-Ruto comments during the BBI campaigns may cost him dearly.
A key ally of DP Ruto, Halima Mucheke will be hoping to clinch the UDA Party ticket in efforts to capture the North Imenti Parliamentary seat.
Halima was nominated to Parliament by the Jubilee Party, where she serves as a member of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee and the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
She unsuccessfully vied for the seat of Meru Women Representative in the 2013 elections, and lost to Florence Kajuju.
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