Story Behind Viral Photo of Kiambaa Winner Shirtless in Town

  • Kiambaa MP-elect John Njuguna Wanjiku hit headlines after emerging victorious in the recently concluded by-elections on Monday, July 19, 2021, through Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

    However, shortly after, a viral photo of the elected member of parliament hit social media.

    The photo showed a shirtless Njuguna in Eldoret town – many speculating that it was a photoshopped image sponsored by his opponents.

    However, the MP-elect confirmed that the photo was taken at Eldoret Police Station and he explained that the photo was taken after his alleged abduction by unknown individuals.

    His abduction ordeal took place before the Kiambaa by-elections as he was planning to host Ruto in Banana, Kiambu County, in February 2021. Paul Koinange was still Kiambaa MP at the time. 

    John Wanjiku Njuguna During Kiambaa campaigns
    John Wanjiku Njuguna During Kiambaa campaigns

    Some of his supporters however embraced the photo claiming it showcased his humble roots.

    Njuguna went on to shed some light on his background which he described as very tough and cited many significant financial impediments his family dealt with while he was growing up.

    The Kiambaa MP-elect, who is the last born in a family of four went to Gatono Primary School, and later Thigio Boys in Limuru, where his education was often derailed due to lack of school fees.

    Njuguna recalled how he would sometimes be chased from school and would help his mother with her chicken-roasting business. The money generated from the business would be used to pay for his education, a scenario that paints a picture of struggle and resilience.

    Many of Njuguna’s supporters identify with his struggle and were therefore quick to support him at the polls as well as defend him in the aftermath of the story of his kidnapping ordeal.

    Njuguna’s win via a UDA ticket came as a surprise to many, with the party employing a number of tactics to seal the victory.

    One of the tactics was appealing to the Luhyas in the region of Kiambaa through seeking the support of former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. UDA party also ran an organized campaign and had a well-prepared and well-coordinated team.

    Njuguna will be at the helm of Kiambaa’s parliamentary seat for the remainder of the year, and will eventually face another poll battle to retain his seat.

    Deputy President William Ruto and former CBK Governor Prof. Njuguna Ndung'u at the former's Karen home on Thursday, April 22
    Deputy President William Ruto and former CBK Governor Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u at the former’s Karen home on Thursday, April 22
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