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It's D-DAY For Thika Teachers As They Elect Their New Office Bearers Tomorrow.

With only a day left before the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Thika Branch elections, top candidates are gearing up for tomorrow's by-election. After days of campaigning and holding strategy meetings with teachers, the day has finally arrived for Thika teachers to decide who their next set of leaders will be for the next five years.

The elections will be taking place tomorrow as from 9:00am in Gatumaini Primary School grounds in Thika Town. There are more than 10 seats up for grabs with the hotly contested seats being that The Executive Secretary, The Chairperson, Deputy Chair, Treasurer and that of The Deputy Executive Secretary.
As has been the norm in the previous elections, this year’s polls saw no lady coming out to vie for any of the top positions other than that of the women’s representative.

By the time we went to press, The Executive Secretary seat had attracted the interest of the incumbent Mr. Joe Mungai Ngige, Mathew Gatambia and Mr. Paul Mbote with the former two said to be the candidates to watch.

The Chairperson’s seat pitted Mr. John Kuria and Mr. David Wambugu. The current office bearer Mr. J. B. Maina is ineligible by virtual of his pending retirement. This one is said to be neck-to-neck with pundits handing it to Mr. Kuria.

The Treasurer slot is seeing the incumbent Mr. Julius Chege fighting it out with another veteran trade unionist Mr. John Meria. This one is said to be too close to call, can swing any way.

Another slot worth noting is that of the Vice chairperson. This has Mr. Mark Wamuthenya (Wa Day) and a late entrant to this race Mr. Maina Kabingu. Here the pundits are giving it to Wa Day who they claim has been more on the ground and better known than the latter.

Already, officials of the KNUT Headquarters have issued out notices of the elections and of the candidates have been going round the schools. In spite of the hype of these elections, the atmosphere has been generally dull, devoid of any major pre-election campaign activities as witnessed in the previous elections. Observers are however hoping that the contesting candidates will today storm the various schools to solicit votes.

The main contenders have campaigned in almost all schools of the sub-county. They have used the print and social media to speak to the teachers. They have also appointed media campaign and publicity teams to distribute campaign messages to various audiences. With only a few hours remaining before the polls, it is clear that the key contenders in most of these seats will be competing neck to neck.

This election will be decided mainly by those that do not vote based on loyalties or die hard cadres. It will be decided on the calibre of the candidates and their capacity to deliver their promises and the need for continuity. However, the repercussions of the recent teachers’ strike may work against some of those in office.

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