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Thursday, July 20, 2017

David and Goliath story inspired me, Kang'ata says after beating Senator Gitura

A file photo of Kiharu MP Irungu Kang'ata. /CAHRLES KIMANI
A file photo of Kiharu MP Irungu Kang'ata. /CAHRLES KIMANI

The Bible story of how young David defeated Philistine giant Goliath inspired Kiharu MP Irungu Kang'ata to vie for Murang'a Senator.

Goliath fell to his death after David attacked him using a sling and a stone.

Kang'ata said the story helped him conquer the underdog mentality to trounce incumbent Kembi Gitura in the Jubilee Party nominations. The first-time MP got 158,164 votes while Gitura was second with 146,207.

"I have read the David and Goliath story many times. It makes me hopeful that at the end of it all, even the smallest or weakest of us all have a chance to leave a mark. That is what I pray for," he told The Star by phone on Friday.

He also said his background pushed him to put other people's needs first.

"I hatched the idea of being senator after realising I had more to offer after serving my people for five years in Kiharu. I thank God that I clinched the Jubilee ticket," he said.

Kang'ata has been vocal in the fight against corruption and the push for fairness and good governance.

"My position on corruption is intact. It is a vice we must fight. I also do not advocate for politics in church because that is where we go to worship."

Kang'ata said in February that he will continue with his modest lifestyle after he is elected senator in the August 8 polls. He said he will not take up the affluence lifestyle Senators including bodyguards, aides and a motorcade of fuel guzzlers.

In an interview with the Star, the MP confessed that his salary has not been enough because he shares it with the needy.

“The Senate salary will not change my life because there are people I help even in the smallest ways. I will just increase the number because it does not help anyone to live like a king while another 1,000 people live like paupers," said the 37-year-old lawmaker

More on this: I will be the poorest Senator, says 'modest' MP Kang'ata

Kang'ata and Gitura hail from the same constituency and have served as MP in different terms. Kang’ata is from Weithaga and the latter from Murang’a town.

The Senator, a former ambassador, represented Kiharu from 2002 to 2007 when he lost to BC Muturi. Kang'ata took over in 2013.

"I have been voted as one of the top performing MPs. I also represented a minor in the case against former deputy Chief Justice Nancy Barasa, so serving the common mwananchi is my calling which I will carry to the senate," Kang'ata said.

His opponent, who is Senate deputy speaker, will defend his seat as an independent candidate.

Kembi had filed a petition with the party’s appeals tribunal asking for a repeat of the polls in Kiharu and Mathioya. He said the exercise was marred by numerous malpractices, chaos and that the results were not credible.

Read more: Kembi Gitura ditches Jubilee after losing Murang'a senate ticket to Irungu Kang'ata

Also see: [VIDEO] Kang'ata lauds Uhuru for maturity displayed in apology over sham Jubilee polls

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