With Mwangangi out to reclaim his seat come 2022 other candidates will find it hard to match his mobilisation skills
By Cornelius Kimbui, Editor in Chief
Residents of Yatta Constituency are now regretting why they let go former MP, Francis Mwangangi just three years after replacing him with the current Charles Kilonzo.
The County Champion has authoritatively established that voters in Kithimani, Matuu, Katangi, Ikombe and Kilonzo’s backyard of Ndalani have vowed to launch a massive political operation aimed at re-electing Mwangangi to his former seat.
Residents say the incumbent, has failed to measure up to their expectations and are wondering what went wrong with their 2017 parliamentary choice.
They accuse the incumbent of not only being “absent” in the Constituency, but also insensitive to most challenges facing the electorate.
“In his time, Mwangangi would create time to meet constituents in their respective Wards and address their concerns as a leader. That is not the case with Charles,” said Misyimi, a resident of Ndalani Ward.
Mr Musyimi further said contrary to Mwangangi, the current MP’s presence on ground is no longer felt.
“The fellow is never with the people. His leadership is never felt and that was the least of our expectations,” he said.
In Matuu, residents have claimed the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) campus which Mwangangi established through NG-CDF and national government has stalled.
“Mwangangi would even ensure consistent functionality of the Yatta Canal, which is depended upon by thousands of people in lower Yatta but Charles never gives a damn,” said Mercy Mwongeli, a trader in Matuu town.
Raphael Mutiso, a resident of Ikombe said Mwangangi’s exit as MP was the greatest disaster for Yatta residents in the current century.
“It was a big blunder but now we have learnt the hard way. But we are happy that Mwangangi has still been helping the community despite having taken a break from politics. That is the right man to fix Yatta,” said Mutiso.
The County Champion could not independently verify claims that Charles was contemplating to vie for another political seat or even quit politics altogether.
The incumbent found his way into politics in a by-election occasioned by the death of then MP JP Mutiso in 2003.
He won the seat on a Narc ticket and after successfully defended his seat on an ODM-K ticket in 2007.
However his stint in politics was thwarted in 2013 when he lost to then youthful Muungano party candidate Francis Mwangangi. The duo fought hard in the Wiper party primaries where the nomination was rigged in Kilonzo’s favour forcing Mwangangi to defect to Muungano party. Mwangangi went ahead to win the seat.
In 2017, Kilonzo bounced back to politics and won the seat in an election marred by irregularities forcing Mwangangi to file a petition in Machakos court.
The ruling upheld Kilonzo’s victory but barely after two months of winning, his popularity started waning across Yatta. Political pundits in Yatta say the MP is feeling a lot of pressure from voters who accuse him of being aloof and elitist.
Another factor that is giving the MP sleepless nights is the emerging formidable factor of Mwangangi in Yatta politics.
Those following the constituency politics say Mwangangi has maintained his presence in the area since 2017 and is viewed as down-to-earth leader who also participates in social welfare matters in the constituency as opposed to the incumbent who rarely interacts with voters.
Mwangangi got a boost last month when current and former elected leaders from across Yatta threw their weight behind him saying the area was better served when he served as the MP.
Mwangangi initiated a cleaning exercise of Yatta Canal to help increase water supply to their farms and homes through the over 60 kilometers long canal.
Since the project has been neglected by authorities that were left to run it and that due to the neglect a lot of silt has piled up in the canal causing the water to flow back into Thika River which is the source of the canal.
Earlier, residents revealed that people along the canal do not get enough water supply is due to the mismanagement of the canal that have left it filled with a lot of soil that have caused the canal to become narrow.
Residents disclosed that Mwangangi has been supporting orphans but now many have dropped out of school due to lack of support from the CDF.
“Mwangangi is a leader. He has been supporting orphans and the needy in the constituency” a resident told County Champion
They said that there is need to find out the difficulties faced by orphans in accessing education to identify the factors perceived by teachers as the causes of non- enrolment and poor retention of orphans in formal public school.
Martin Mutie says that education gives children hope for life and work, and is a strong protector from all sorts of difficulties.
The number of orphans and vulnerable children grows, their communities become less and less capable of addressing all their basic needs, including their ability to go to school.
QUALITIES OF A LEADER
How often have you heard the comment, “He is a born leader?”
There are certain characteristics found in some people that seem to naturally put them in a position where they’re looked up to as a leader.
Whether in fact a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate.
There are some clear characteristics that are found in good leaders.
These qualities can be developed or may be naturally part of their personality.
Samuel Muinde says a good leader like Mwangangi has an exemplary character.
“It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others” he said
According to Muinde, a leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity.
“A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others” he added
He added that true authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.