Politician with knack for taking on the powerful
Jubilee leaders yesterday rubbished Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua’s allegations that the party rigged the 2017 General Election in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya backyard.
Reacting to Karua’s remarks during Sunday night interview on K24’s PunchLine show, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale termed the claims as sheer lies.
The Narc Kenya leader claimed Jubilee party “rigged big time” throughout the Mt Kenya region.
“The highest court in the land (Supreme Court) found there were malpractices in the presidential poll and I believe I was equally a victim as a candidate in Kirinyaga, because the IEBC was unable to offer crucial records demanded of them by the court,” Karua told host Anne Kiguta.
But Duale said Karua’s party never protested to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission or filed a petition with the Supreme Court on the alleged rigging and electoral malpractices.
“She lost to Governor (Anne) Waiguru and must retire from politics graciously. She lacks the moral authority to discuss elections,” said Duale, adding that other losers in the region also claimed to have been rigged out in the Jubilee nominations.
Former Jubilee Party vice chair David Murathe dismissed Karua’s claims as sour grapes. He said the Narc-K leader had previously won four times as MP and wondered why she was now protesting over her loss.
“If the election was rigged, how come then Senator Charles Kibiru, who ran as an independent candidate was not rigged out?” he posed, saying Karua was simply seeking sympathy after exhausting court avenues to overturn the Kirinyaga governor poll outcome.
Uhuru’s win in the August 2017 poll was subsequently voided by the Supreme Court on a split decision. Although Jubilee disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision, Uhuru and his running mate, William Ruto, agreed to participate in the October repeat poll boycotted by main challenger, Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).
Used and dumped
Bouncing from another legal “defeat” at the hands Waiguru, Karua did not spare retired President Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru, his deputy Ruto and Raila.
During the interview, she claimed Kibaki had used her to defend his controversial 2007 election only to isolate her after securing victory.
“I quit upon realising that I could not execute my duties owing to frustrations from other ministers. When I became the minister after Kiraitu Murungi quit, I protested about Anglo Leasing payments, which the Kibaki administration had started paying, and they are paying up to now. That is not the kind of government you would want to be in,” she said.
Her main problem, she said, was in the manner in which Kibaki handled issues on administration of justice and the appointment of judges, which, she said, he did without following the right procedures.
Karua also stopped short of unearthing the alleged rampant corruption that she claims rocked the Jubilee administration and the widespread malpractices in the 2017 election. This, she says, is why she declined to take up a Cabinet position when approached by the President.
“As he started constituting his government for the second term, Uhuru suggested to me several options in his Cabinet that he wanted me to take, but I told him I was not ready for that because I was rigged out and wanted to pursue electoral justice,” she said.
And citing several cases of corruption allegedly involving Ruto, the Narc Kenya leader said she had no intention of supporting his presidential bid.
Karua, however, said she might consider working with Raila.
But, like Uhuru, Karua said the ODM leader is “disorganised” in terms of overseeing his party’s primary elections.
“Uhuru and Raila are good people to work with. Raila is an amiable person to work with. He is a person I can pick my phone and call any time I want. We are cordial, but when it comes to political organisation, the two are similar,” she said.
Karua dismissed Waiguru as a political lightweight in the emerging battle to succeed Uhuru as the leader of the Mt Kenya region.
Reacting to Karua’s interview, Majority Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) described her claims as normal for poll losers, who ordinarily would seek public support.
Murathe advised Karua to “just dust herself and move on” now that the election matter is over.
“She lost fairly. She has gone to the High Court, appealed and even went to the Supreme Court, and lost,” said Murathe.