Smarting over defeat in the just-concluded nominations for UDA ticket in Kiambu County gubernatorial race, Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina ‘Wa Jungle’ says he will run as an independent candidate.
Incumbent Senator Kimani Wamatangi won the coveted ticket in the bitterly contested primaries. He had 42,765 votes as at Saturday evening, against Wa Jungle’s 29,326.
The tallying centre at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology had witnessed drama as allegations of rigging and other malpractices flew across the different political camps.
Others in the race for the UDA ticket were former governor Ferdinand Waititu and Muturi Mwangi alias Muturi wa Nduthi.
“There was voter bribery which was very widespread. Election officials elected were instructed by the party to favour one side,” Wainaina claimed. He added that his popular name ‘Jungle’ was omitted in the printing of the ballot papers, a deliberate ploy to rig him out.
“My name ‘Jungle’ is official and recognized in my ID. When I went to register myself at the party, my name was included as Patrick Wainaina Jungle. Now in the ballot papers, they only included only two names, Jungle was not included,” he said.
Wainaina also said the party nomination papers bore a grainy image of him, making it difficult for voters to recognise him.
“Ile picha walitumia ilikuwa ni picha ingine haikai kama mimi, na hiyo ni mpango ili wale wananipigia kura wasije kunitambua. Na hiyo ni rigging.”
Wa Jungle has experience in winning elections while running as an independent, going against the grain, against party wave. In the 2017 general election, he won 52% of the votes cast (60,028) running as an independent, to defeat ruling Jubilee party’s Alice Ng’ang’a (53,988) and George Gathecha who got 493 votes.
In the August race, he will be seeking a replay of this victory- albeit at a larger scale- when he faces off with Wamatangi, Chama Cha Kazi’s Moses Kuria, Tujibebe’s William Kabogo, and putative Jubilee candidate James Nyoro, who is the current governor.
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