Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Tabitha Karanja has outlined her plans for Nakuru County as she eyes the Senator seat in 2022.
The position of Nakuru Senator has taken on greater prominence with Nakuru set to become Kenya’s fourth city. President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the county on Wednesday, December 1 to officially grant the Nakuru municipality a City charter in an event to be led by Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
Long regarded as one of Kenya’s top entrepreneurs and an inspiration for many women looking to make it in the world of business, Karanja is intent on making her mark in the political arena. She will be going for the Senatorial seat currently occupied by Susan Kihika who is campaigning to be the county’s next Governor.
Keroche Breweries, Kenya’s second largest alcohol manufacturer by market share, has been headquartered in Naivasha, Nakuru since its establishment in 1998 as a fortified wine maker. Highlighting the vibrant agriculture and horticulture sectors in Nakuru, Karanja has promised to focus on developing agri-business by enabling value addition for agricultural products from Nakuru.
Speaking after receiving an endorsement from a section of Nakuru elders, Karanja noted Nakuru’s sizeable contribution to the national GDP as she called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to move the county forward.
“After doing what I’ve managed to do in Keroche, I feel I can add value to Nakuru County. My key area will be agribusiness.”
“What I will concentrate on is to ensure that we do value-addition industries so that we can create employment and eradicate poverty in our county,” she asserted.
Karanja also spoke on her desire to create a more conducive environment for investors and manufacturers in Nakuru and the country at large. She stated that it was the private sector that felt the pinch of unfavorable policies.
“People in the private sector, we are known not to really like politics. But when you look at it we are the same people who keep on complaining. So I feel its the right time – we as the private sector, people who have built things that can be seen can come out now and apply the same management, the same leadership, the same supervision to take the county as their baby and build it to the next level,” she stated.
Karanja is yet to announce which political vehicle she plans on using to get to the Senate. Current Senator Susan Kihika is allied to Deputy President William Ruto and his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket while Governor Kinyanjui is allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.
The Keroche CEO stated that she was “listening to the ground” and would announce her choice in due course.