By Eastern Correspondent
Upon election in the August 2022 general elections, one particular pledge was common to all elected leaders in the county, as their speeches were dominated by promises to form a strong formidable team under the patronage of Governor Muthomi Njuki.
The pledge to Tharaka Nithi residents was seemingly just an ordinary after-election show, until Saturday 10th September 2022 when all elected leaders from the county held a consultative session with President William Ruto at his former Karen residence.
The Eastern Newspaper takes an in-depth analysis of pledges and promises made by the elected leaders.
Muthomi Njuki – Governor
The second-term governor during his campaigns noted that infrastructure built in his first term was not questionable with projects such as new outpatient units, dispensaries, free certified seeds, artificial insemination programs, modern markets, market stalls, bridges, and roads being the
highlights of his tenure.
In the next five years, the governor promised to connect residents to infrastructure built, under the theme of “Leaving no one behind” by maximizing service delivery.
In Agriculture, Njuki promised minimum guaranteed returns and markets for farmers, since Tharaka Nithi is an agriculture-based county.
The governor promised that the certified seeds program would continue and subsidized fertilizers made available for farmers. Artificial insemination programs were also set to go on in his administration.
Njuki went on to promise the construction and commissioning of a milk processing plant in the county, noting an increase in milk production from 22 million liters in 2017 to 44 liters in 2022.
By 2027, the governor promised to have over 50,000 households connected to domestic water under the Nithi Water and Sanitation Company (NIWASCO).
In his new term, 7 new markets were promised, adding to the 10 modern markets and over 300 market stalls built in his first term. Over 50 kilometers of tarmac is also expected to be built, compared to the 45 kilometers done in his first five years as governor. Over 50 brides were also built during that time.
The governor announced the introduction of road marshals to act as volunteers. The marshals are expected to receive a stipend of between KShs 2000 and KShs 3000 to maintain roads at the ward level.
He also committed to finding an international market for tea and coffee.
Patrick Munene – MP Chuka/Igambang’ombe
The second-term Member of Parliament kick-started his new term by delivering a school bus to Kajiampau Secondary School days after his swearing-in, noting that transport played a very important role in learning.
The MP pledged to purchase more in the coming years of his administration, with a vision to make Chuka/Igambang’ombe a model constituency. In his campaigns, the MP pledged to complete irrigation projects in his constituency. Thuita irrigation project, Rianthiga irrigation, Chuka Town, and Mwonge Range are some of the water projects under his patronage that are still ongoing.
He went on to promise the tarmacking and upgrade of roads across the constituency. One of the projects he promised to deliver was the tarmacking of the Chuka-Kaareni road, which contractors have already reported to and will be complete in 12 months.
The tarmacking of the Kibugua-Itugururu road is also in progress, a project the legislator says will greatly ease transport and boost the growth of the constituency as it connects it to other parts of the county.
Parto also promised to continue with upgrading school infrastructure in the constituency, projects which earned him the alias “Wa Kithomo” for his contributions to education.
Kareke Mbiuki–MP Maara Constituency
The four-time Member of Parliament in his campaigns promised to finish up on stalled projects in his Constituency which included roads and water projects.
A key project the MP promised to oversee completed was the Chogoria Water and Sanitation project, projected to be worth KShs 1 billion and expected to serve 155,000 people.
According to Kareke, an adequate and reliable water supply would play boost agriculture, which is the backbone of the county. Under his patronage, the mega Muringa Banana irrigation scheme in Mwimbi was implemented, a project that covered 6,350 acres and is benefiting 6,823 farmers.
Muthambi-Gitije, Kimuri-Kiamujiari, Kiriani-Munga, Kamwene, Makuri, Gianchuku, and Mwichuiri water and irrigation projects are some of the other projects to his name. The MP also promised to go on with the last mile connectivity program, with over 39 transformers installed in his previous regime which benefitted over 60,000 households in Maara.
Kareke also promised to build roads and infrastructure in his final term as MP. Kamwangu Day Secondary School, Muraga Secondary School, Itara Mixed Secondary, Mutiiguru Day Secondary, and Maatha Primary are some of the over 200 schools under his regime that have benefitted from construction and upgrades.
Kareke also promised social welfare and groups would benefit from empowerment funds and micro enterprises funding.
In 2021, he was ranked the best-performing Member of Parliament in the county, in the county gala awards. At one point, Kareke accused his competitors in the August polls of blocking projects through court cases in Maara, seemingly hitting at his main competitor Lawrence Gitonga Bongo.
Gitonga Murugara – MP Tharaka Constituency
Once re-elected the Tharaka MP promised to ensure his constituency catches up with other constituencies in the county, noting the challenges facing his constituents.
Murugara promised to protect the interests of Persons Living with Disabilities, widows, and other vulnerable members of society.
In the education sector, the MP promised to empower education through the issuance of bursaries to needy and deserving students, saying they were the future Tharaka needed. He further promised to go on with electrification projects in the constituency, to ensure last-mile connectivity compared to other constituencies in the county. He added that he would ensure 50% of the total households in the constituency are connected to electricity.
Murugara asked the county and national governments to supply water to different parts of Tharaka, saying he would oversee the projects to ensure adequate water supply.
He promised to double up on his development agenda, constructing roads to connect the constituency and ease transportation.
Murugara promised to oversee the construction of Meru-Miomponi, Miomponi-Nkondi-Gatunga, and Marimanti-Kibung’a-Mitunguu roads. Popular with his regime, the MP vowed to keep up with his issuance of school buses, with schools such as Karocho Secondary, Matiri Day, and Boarding and Nkondi Girls being some of the beneficiaries.
Susan Ngugi – Woman Representative
The first-time woman representative and former Mariamnti MCA is among the 3 elevated MCA’S from the previous county government to elective positions. Ngugi promised to be the unifying factor in the county, promising to keep her differences with other elected leaders aside and bury the hatchet.
According to her, despite the fact that she was vying under a TSP ticket, she was sidelined by the Kenya Kwanza coalition in the county, with UDA strongly supporting her competitor, Beatrice Kathomi.
She promised to use the affirmative action funds to uplift the lives of the marginalized and minorities in the county and oversee the empowerment of self-help groups and other institutions. With her first motion, she promised to have NGAAF allocation increased.
Mwenda Gataya – Senator
The former Mukothima Ward MCA promised to partner with elected leaders to safeguard the interests of the county saying he was ready to act as a watchdog.
The Senator said if elected he would lobby for an increase in the allocation of resources from the national government.
Gataya said he would play the necessary oversight role as stipulated in the constitution. He acknowledged that through teamwork, elected leaders had higher chances of pulling resources from the national government to the benefit of the county.