Kihika in an interview with the Sunday Nation on January 10, 2021, made clear her intentions to de-throne incumbent County Governor Lee Kinyanjui in the 2022 general election.
Kihika and Kinyanjui were elected to their respective posts in 2017 on Jubilee Party tickets, but have since fallen apart due to the emergence of political factions in the ruling party.
“I’m a politician and I need to consult the people who elected me to get feedback, and also know what else they want me to do for them either in my current position or any other. But definitely I’m going for the governorship,” Kihika declared.
The announcement sets stage for a heated contest pitting several other interested parties against Kinyanjui who will be looking to defend his seat.
After losing to Kinuthia Mbugua in 2013, Kinyanjui emerged victorious in Jubilee Party primaries in 2017, going on to clinch the seat on August 8, that year.
Nakuru firebrand politician James Mungai is among leaders eyeing the Nakuru gubernatorial seat come 2022, with his close allies revealing that the former lawmaker has been conducting door to door campaigns.
“He is still weighing his options. But he is thinking of going for the governorship. His meetings are structured and involves a very close circle of advisers and confidants,”a source close to Mungai was quoted as saying.
Chama Cha Mashinani’s Peter Koros is also expected to toss himself in the ring after coming second in the gubernatorial race in 2017. He has since pointed out that a strong campaign team will be key to his election and is in the market for a running mate.
“I performed well in 2017 in spite of not having a well oiled campaign like my competition. I learned some lessons in the past elections and that’s why I have started early by trying to get the right people in my team,” Koros is quoted as saying.
Governor Kinyanjui has downplayed any fears, insisting that his development record in the county will push for his reelection.
“Currently I’m working to fulfill my pledges to voters. I have managed to deliver in the health sector, agriculture, infrastructure development that has opened up thousands of kilometres of roads in the rural parts of the county,” Kinyanjui told the publication.
Kihika’s declaration paves way for a heated contest to succeed her, as a number of prominent persons from the county eye the Senate seat.
Former Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital Medical Superintendent Joseph Mburu, retired footballer Micky Weche and Andrew Yatich are among those vying to replace Kihika in Senate.