Just like Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua is set to pay a most expensive price for gross political miscalculation. The election is just one week away, and it is becoming quite clear that Anne Waiguru will be the next governor of Kirinyaga county.
Some polls have predicted a close race, but I’m of the view that the Jubilee candidate will have a very comfortable victory.
Why am I convinced that Martha Karua will lose?
First and foremost, it is very hard to fight off a ‘traitor’ tag. In 2013, Martha Karua chose to go against the community wave and vied for President. But that was not even the first sign of rebellion. After fighting for Kibaki in 2007, Karua resigned from cabinet saying she was given her job and at the same time had her hands tied. It was clear that Karua was not to be ‘trusted’ by the community.
When the Kikuyu tribe voted for Uhuru to the last man, including in her own Kirinyaga county, this should have essentially been the final nail on her coffin.
But what did she do?
She continued hammering more nails on the same coffin by cosying up to the same people Uhuru was fighting against. For the better part of Uhuru’s first term, Karua was still a ‘Cord person’ by association. She has only ‘returned home’ just a few months ago. Surely, it will be very hard for voters to forget that.
The second reason Waiguru is winning is because of the national profile she has gotten herself, aided particularly by Raila’s attacks. Martha Karua chose to run for governor at the worst possible time, because for the first time, she had an opponent who can match her national name recognition.
Uhuru hyped up Joho and despite the state of Mombasa, the Sultan will get one of the largest victory margin in the country. The same way, Raila built Waiguru by constantly attacking her. According to most of the country, Waiguru may be a thief, but according to Kirinyaga, Waiguru is their own.
The third reason Waiguru will beat Karua is the Jubilee wave. Independent candidates may laugh it off, but fact remains it is there.
Gubernatorial races, Senate, parliamentary and county representative races have the largest share of undecided voters. Indeed, not many people even know who is vying for MCA or MP. It is not unlikely that over 10% of voters have not decided whom they will vote as their governor.
This is where the party wave works wonders.
In the voting booth, a voter rarely takes time to think, and familiar party symbols play a key role. Jubilee candidates in Jubilee strongholds have a very significant edge.
Therefore, Waiguru will get the vast majority of undecided voters.
Whether Tuesday will mark the end of Karua’s political career is unclear. But I have no doubt in my mind that Anne Waiguru will be the next Governor of Kirinyaga.
Tomorrow we look at Kiambu County.
The above opinion is not supported by any scientific numbers and can be challenged freely.