Since Kenya attained multi-party democracy in 1992 allowing various parties to vie for positions of governance, no ruling party candidate has ever clinched the Juja Parliamentary position save for the late MP Francis Munyua Waititu.
Munyua who ruled the constituency from 2013 until his demise served the vast sub-county under the ruling Jubilee Party.
In 1992 under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) regime, the current Kiambu County assembly speaker Stephen Ndichu became the MP for Juja on a Ford Asili ticket.
In 1997, Ndichu was re-elected under the SDP party until 2002 when former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo took over on a Sisis kwa Sisi party, a time when the NARC party was the ruling party in the country.
In 2007, the victory of late George Thuo on a Party of National Unity, the ruling party then was overturned and Kabogo continued to serve under the Narc Kenya party.
As Juja mini-polls draws near, political pundits aver that political happenings of the yester years could recur resulting in a surprise win for a candidate not affiliated to the ruling party or even an independent contestant.
James Kihoya, a long serving political analyst stated that Juja being a cosmopolitan, party politics could fail to play out clearly.
With the race having attracted over ten contenders, Kihoya said it would not be a surprise to see an independent candidate clinch the highly coveted position.
“It is clear that party politics is not the current campaign tool in Juja. It wouldn’t be a major surprise to see an independent candidate win going by the number of candidates who have expressed interest for the position,” said Kihoya.
At the same time, Donald Karume, a political science scholar highlighted that Juja voters could turn political dynamics in the country should they go for a youthful leader who is able to push for the agenda of the downtrodden.
In his argument, Karume noted that most of the candidates in the race are young and it will be a hard nut to crack to see an elderly contestant take the win especially with the high population of youths in the constituency.
Among the youths in the race, Karume singled out Dr. Joseph Gichui, the youngest contestant in the race and whom he described as brilliant, vocal, conversant to challenges facing Juja people and well attached to the people.
“This young man will surprise many going by the way he has been making inroads campaigning all over. His youthful nature is also a plus going by the fact that most people in the urban constituency are youngsters. It will not be a wonder to see him beat bigwigs,” said Karume.
Recently, Gichui was endorsed by young leaders from the vote-rich Mt Kenya region adding weight in his campaign machinery, a move that has left his competitors apprehensive.
Political experts insist that the race for Juja is between Gichui, People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) candidate George Koimburi who is also youthful, businessman James Marungo, Eunice Wanjiru and John Njoroge, the candidate for Peoples Party of Kenya (PPK).
They maintained that Susan Njeri, the Jubilee Party flagbearer is not only disadvantaged by her party but also her inability to move masses, lack of clear ideologies and association with lowly-favoured leaders.
The by-election which is slated for May 18, experts say, will determine whether party politics still play out as electorates have diversified their criteria of choosing representatives in parliament.