Kimunya: I’d rather resign…oh no! I won’t!
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
On July 7, 2008, then Finance minister Amos Kimunya swore that he “would rather die than resign” over the controversial sale of Nairobi’s Grand Regency Hotel.
Despite the growing pressure from among others his colleagues in Parliament, for him to leave the Cabinet, Kimunya told a rally in Central Kenya: “One thing I am not prepared to do and I will not do, I will not resign. I will rather die than resign.”
Fast forward to Saturday, May 15, 2021 and Kimunya had another promise: “I wouldn’t want to hear that Jubilee Party has failed to win a seat in Nyandarua (one of its strongholds). I would resign.”
However, it is now official that the Kipipiri MP, a man famed for flip-flopping on matters resignation, will not leave his National Assembly job as he promised last weekend following this week’s resounding defeat his party suffered in this week’s Nyandarua ward by-election.
Change of mind
On Saturday, during a campaign rally in Rurii in Nyandarua, Kimunya vowed to resign if Jubilee candidate Peter Thinji lost to United Democratic Alliance’s Francis Muraya Githaiga in the contest.
But yesterday, a day after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared Githaiga the winner, the National Assembly’s Majority Leader has beat a retreat and vowed to rather not resign.
In his weekly media briefing yesterday, Kimunya said: “As you know those are political issues which we do, but unfortunately I did not consult the people of Kipipiri constituency (on my possible resignation) whom I represent because it is a fundamental decision that requires public participation.”
“When I have consulted enough, I doubt if they will let me bear the consequences of matters in another constituency,” the majority leader added.
A now viral video clip captured Kimunya vowing to call it quits at the august House if Jubilee was defeated in its stronghold. He demanded nothing but a bloc vote for his party candidate to save him ridicule.
“Let us win this Rurie by-election by 99 per cent so that those outsiders (UDA) trying to come here can be taught a lesson.
Nyandarua is our home. If we lose in Rurii, I should just resign. How can Jubilee lose this seat in Nyandarua and I am the Majority Leader,?” he said in the clip.
In his native Kikuyu language during the campaigns for the civic seat Kimunya said he would rather resign than hear UDA win the seat in Nyandarua.
“I wouldn’t want to hear that the party has failed to win a seat in Nyandarua, I would resign,” he added.
IEBC announced the results on Wednesday with Githaiga leading with 4,303 votes against Thinji’s 3,143 and Susan Wangeci of The New Democrats (TND) 17 votes.
This opened a floodgate of attacks on Kimunya as Kenyans on Twitter sought to remind him of the importance of sticking to his word to resign.
But in response yesterday, Kimunya said his remarks were only aimed at psyching up Jubilee supporters in the ward to turn up in large numbers and hand their candidate a win.
In his statement yesterday, Kimunya congratulated the winners in the parliamentary seats in Juja and Bonchari by-elections and asked the losers to accept the results and the verdict of the people and live to fight another day.
“Those who have been elected, you don’t have enough time, you have less than 14 months in office, you should get down to work and deliver on the campaign promises you made to the people if you want to be re-elected in August 2022,” he said.
The ruling Jubilee Party suffered a massive blow after it lost all three by-elections held on Tuesday.
In Bonchari, ODM’s Pavel Oimeke won with the Jubilee candidate Zebedeo Opore coming second. UDA’s candidate Teresa Bitutu was third.
In Juja, Moses Kuria emerged with the bragging rights after his People’s Empowerment Party candidate George Koimburi trounced Jubilee’s Susan Waititu. She was second with a somewhat huge margin.