Azimio Board Chairman Loses Gubernatorial Bid

An image of Laikipia County governor Ndiritu Muriithi
An image of Laikipia County Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
The Standard

The Chairman of the Azimio Campaign Board, Ndiritu Muriithi, has lost his gubernatorial seat to United Democratic Alliance's (UDA), Joshua Irungu.

Muriithi, who was elected Laikipia governor in 2017, garnered a paltry 48,812 votes against Irungu's 113,830.

The outgoing governor lost to his predecessor, Irungu, who rode on the UDA wave to reclaim a seat he held between 2013 and 2017 from the late President Mwai Kibaki's nephew.

A file image of Laikipia Governor-elect Joshua Irungu.
A file image of Laikipia Governor-elect Joshua Irungu.

The soft-spoken governor contested on a Party of National Unity (PNU) ticket despite a push and pull in its leadership.

Muriithi become the second county boss from the Mount Kenya region and its diaspora to lose his seat to a UDA candidate after Nyandarua's Francis Kimemia lost to Moses Kiarie.

The Azimio official has an illustrious political career dating back to 2007 when he was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Laikipia West. During his five-year term, he doubled up as the Assistant Minister for Industrialization.

Following the introduction of the devolved system of government as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, he contested for Laikipia Governor in 2013 on a UPF party ticket.
He, however, to Irungu - who was at the time the Jubilee Party candidate. His second stab at the county top job was, however, successful as he was elected when he contested as an independent candidate.

Other top officials in the Azimio coalition party who have lost seats include KANU party leader, Gideon Moi, who was humiliated by UDA's William Chepkut in the Baringo Senatorial race.

In Bungoma County, DAP-K  party leader, Wafula Wamunyinyi, failed to retain his Kanduyi parliamentary seat. Wamunyinyi garnered  20,240 votes against Ford Kenya's John Makali's 32,099.

His defeat is attributed to the Ford Kenya party's dominance in the area. Party leader, Moses Wetangula, has had significant influence in the county, having delivered the majority of presidential votes in the county to UDA presidential candidate, William Ruto.

DAP-K party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi on a campaign trail in Bungoma County
DAP-K party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi on a campaign trail in Bungoma County