Jubilee campaign billboards spark outrage in Thika.

One of the banners that have elicited some heated debate in Thika Town Constituency with a section of  residents interpreting it as an endorsement to discard President Uhuru Kenyatta's call for a Jubilee 6-piece vote in August.
The omission of Kiambu Senator Paul Kimani Wamatangi on the Jubilee Party advertisement billboards has sparked outrage amongst his supporters who claim that their candidate is being sidelined by his colleagues in ‘United 4 Kiambu’ (U4K).

Giant billboards strategically mounted at various spots around Thika Town Constituency bear the portraits of what seems to be the official Jubilee Party line-up fronted to the electorate for the August 8 General Elections. In the poster Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu alia ‘Baba Yao’ is being fronted as the party’s gubernatorial choice with Gathoni Wamuchomba and MP Alice Ng’ang’a as the Kiambu Women Representative and Thika Town MP respectively.

Others are Andrew Ndirangu (Township Ward), Dunson Mburu (Hospital Ward), Raphael Chege (Kamenu Ward), Cecilia Wamaitha (Gatuanyaga Ward) and Joakim Mwangi (Ngoliba Ward). There is no portrait of any senatorial candidate in what is presumed by Wamatangi’s supporters as a silent rejection in favour of the independent candidate and Ngewa MCA Karungo Wa Thang’wa, who they say has been in the U4K team before.

“As a resident of Makongeni, I was shocked to see this billboard that is purported to be that of the Jubilee Party line-up mounted here without the image of Senator Wamatangi. Isn’t he a Jubilee candidate? Are they in a way telling us to ignore the president’s call for a Jubilee 6-piece vote?” asked Kimani Mwangi, a trader in Madaraka Market.

Another trader in Madaraka Market who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisal, described the Jubilee Party outfit as a ‘tattered suit’ that could not attract any buyer.

“Let me be frank with you. We are just waiting for the polling day and express our dissatisfaction by voting out some of these leaders you see on this billboard. Kama wenyewe hawavai suti, sisi ni nani tuambiwe tupigie kura suti imeraruka? (If they themselves won’t dress in suits, who are we to be coerced to vote for a tattered suit?)” she asked.

Her colleague accused some of these leaders of deserting them only to reappear whenever the traders were in trouble. This, she said, was to take advantage of their adversities for political expediency. She reckoned that Madaraka Market traders had suffered for quite a long time and it was time they elected leaders who would always be there for them and who would listen to their plight.

Ken Mwangi, a resident of Kiandutu, was a bitter man as he expressed his disappointment with the billboard at the Gatitu junction. He argued that if the trio did not want to support Hon Wamatangi, then they should let Thika electorate to choose their leaders without being bothered with party politics.

“Whoever designed this banner must have been driven by the resolve to blackout Hon. Wamatangi in favour Karungo Wa Thang’wa, who has been associating with Hon. Alice and Hon. Waititu in their fights with Governor (William) Kabogo,” said Ken.

The poster, which has been trending on social media over the past few days, first caught online attention and sparked some heated debate on social media, with some users arguing that there was disunity in the party’s operatives. Some other school of thought argued that some of those candidates in the U4K were uncomfortable with Wamatangi’s candidature due to his independence in decision making and his firm stand against the misuse of county funds.


Ever since, social media has been abuzz with a section of users terming the move as sign of infighting within the local party ranks with some saying that these leaders were indirectly advocating for a ‘broken suit’ in the August polls.
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