Constituency profile: Gichugu (Part 1)

Posted by on 11th October 2007

Categories:   2007 Aspirants 2007 Elections Constituency News

    By Leah W. Njuguna

GICHUGU BACKGROUND

Gichugu constituency in Central Province Kirinyaga district has over 80,000 registered voters and 58 Polling stations. Gichugu is a rich agricultural area with tea and coffee as the main cash crops and horticulture farming. Despite being an agriculturally well-endowed region with rich soils and good rainfall throughout the year, poverty levels are high. The high cost of farm inputs like fertilisers and seeds has greatly affected the economic standards of the region which is also grappling with deteriorating security.

The constituency has been represented by justice and constitution affairs minister Martha Karua for the last 15 years since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1992. The constituency has fully supported President Mwai Kibaki in the past three elections, and is likely to continue the trend in the forthcoming general elections. Karua, who is also the deputy leader of government business in the house, is probably the most vocal and courageous fighting general for President Kibaki’s administration. She is expected to be one of the key pillars in marketing the newly launched Kibaki’s re-election vehicle, PNU.

The no-nonsense minister is among the few women who can articulate courageously their political stance without fear of intimidation by her male counterparts. In her native Gichugu constituency, her opponents see her as an arrogant woman who never takes a chance to listen to them.

In contrast, majority of Gichugu residents have commended the MP for her development projects through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) ranging from health, water and education. Since the introduction of CDF in 2003, there are over 130 complete and ongoing projects. There are 3 complete health centers in Riakithiga, Gaciongo and Joshua Mbai; four complete water projects in Kianyaga, Nyaru, Mukia and Ngumara; and seven bridges in Kathata, Konyu, Muratiri, Kanjangiri, Njambo, Gatuki and Karoki.
There has also been construction of Day secondary schools in most primary schools with 10 schools complete. This is under a new policy where the government is encouraging construction of secondary schools in unutilized land owned by primary schools. The complete secondary schools under this arrangement include Rukenya, Gatunguru, Kianguenyi, Kiandai, Gacatha, Kiaumbui, Kathunguri, Karumandi, Kavote and Thumaita. She has also assisted several primary schools in electrification and building of new classes for example at Kiathi, Rwambiti, Gikumbo and Kathunguri. Under her patronage, CDF has also aided in the construction of a laboratory at Ngiriambu primary and a youth polytechnic at Kianyaga.

Karua has also funded planting of trees in all sub locations in the constituency at a total cost of Ksh 400,000. She has also set aside Ksh 2.2 million from the CDF kitty to assist poor former students to obtain their secondary school certificates. Other major CDF projects are revival of the old Kutus Market at a cost of over Ksh 2 million, funding of Gichugu Horticulture exporters association at a cost of Ksh 3 million and funding of Gichugu diary at a cost of Ksh 1 million. Karua is also responsible for the construction of Kianyaga sub district hospital through the African Development Bank and the tarmarcking of the Rukenya-Kimunye road.

5 Comments

  • by lawrence on 15th October 2007

    I totally agree with the above complains about gichugu constituency.As a university student from a poor background, I asked to be assisted through the cdf kitty in vein now I wonder how can she convince me to vote for her..other students from other constituencies especially the neighbouring ones ie mwea kerugoya-kutus and ndia are being assisted through the same cdf,now I pose a question to mheshimiwa,is gichugu more wellup than any other constituency in kenya? being a registered voter from that place I dont think how 15years will not be enough for her to have done what she ought to have done for us..the most wise thing she can do is give someone else a chance to serve us or else we gonna do it......the least she has done, any ordinally leader could have done it..Dear Martha...."Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world in fact its the only thing that ever has"

  • by Nyams on 19th November 2007

    Being also from the University, I totally agree with my comrade Lawrence. We have been segregated by our beloved MP and we have been left like a loner soldier or 'Mbogo ya ndwiki'. While we were fighting together with the other constituencies' students from the university, we had high hopes of atleast getting a kind word from our MPS, the others got but where could you get if you were from Gichugu? Martha is well known and loved country wide but she canot performe as MP, I usually ask myself what has been happening that she has managed for those 15 years. Its the high time that we joined together and came up with onother candidate who will atleast be concious of the needs of the people of Gichugu. Lastly I will be very suplised if anyone from the university will vote Martha back and more so anyone who is concious of higher education and their relatives. please lets exsercise our rights of voting the apropriate candidate for better Gichugu. Thanks.

  • by ndegwa mwangi on 16th January 2010

    lawrence and Nyams--U ARE LYING to the world. come to the constituency offices.students from gichugu i being one of them organised ourselves and petitioned Mheshimiwa abt the bursaries n she agreed. i guess u ignored/refused and/or rejected to attend the meetings that we were calling. ua allegations have an ill motif and not justified. follow up what happens in ua constituency.

  • by kelvin on 8th March 2010

    I don't undedrstand what Nyams and Lawrence are upto. What they are talking about is past and has been sorted already. Don't bring your prejudice on matters that has been sorted already. I'm a University student and cdf bursaries are available for gichugu university students, according to the meertings that we as the University students have been attending, we are optimistic of getting them. Failure to attend the meetings is ignorance and ignorance has no defence. It's your failure and not Martha's failure........Collect a form and feel and stop so much talking. Be updated! thankyou !

  • by cheruiyot joseah on 30th December 2010

    iam very impressed the hon karua is handling the issues,to me she is the hope of the hopeless and not tribalist .i have been following her handling of national politics.Its today that i have decided to market and vote for her come 2012,go for it Mwehimiwa u are not alone go for it.Cheruiyot T/MARA