We goofed in Juja mini-polls, Jubilee admits, shifts focus to Kiambaa
After the Juja by-election where Jubilee Party was handed an embarrassing defeat in its leader President Uhuru Kenyatta’s home turf, focus now shifts to Kiambaa where Deputy President William Ruto’s allies are keenly plotting another upset against the ruling party.
The president’s party is scheduled to conduct its nominations tomorrow to decide who among businessman and politician Kariri Njama, Josphat Kamanya, June Koinange, Lennah Koinange, Damaris Wambui will fly its ticket in the July 15 mini-polls. June is the wife of former MP Paul Koinange whose death occasioned the vacancy, while Lennah is his step-sister and Wambui a niece.
Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju yesterday admitted that the party may have goofed in the Juja mini-polls where their candidate Susan Njeri, the widow of the late MP Francis Waititu alias Wakapee was floored by George Koimburi.
But while putting on a brave face, Tuju argued that world over, any by-elections always pose a tricky situation for ruling parties.
“We lost. We acknowledge that we lost. We shall learn from the mistake we may have committed and correct what we think may have not gone well.
In any case, Jubilee, like any other party, can win or lose in an election. The electorate sometimes use such mini polls as a protest vote and that dynamics in a by-election and a general election are different,” Tuju told People Daily.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui on his part urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to crack the whip in the party and save it from the string of loses witnessed in the just concluded by-elections.
In press statement, Governor Kinyanjui said that Jubilee is “heavy with dead weight and people who add no value to the party” adding that there was need for urgent action to stem growing dissatisfaction among supporters.
“The outcome of recent by-elections show a growing disconnect with the public feelings. We cannot address this challenge by denying its existence,” he said.
“Imposing candidates because of connections, emotions or economic gain, is to write own obituary,” he said.
Opinion shapers have cautioned that Jubilee should not be seen to favour any of the four candidates in Kiambaa contest, saying that it could lead to a fallout.
“The Jubilee Party has to avoid fallout that will easily give the DP and Kuria axis victory, they should try and avoid the primaries by going the consensus way to ensure they, at all cost, get a strong and compromise candidate who will be supported by the rest,” said Eric Mutura, a politician and political commentator.
He went on: “Any slight mistake by the party during Saturday’s primaries will be viewed as deliberate skewing and the beneficiary will be the Tanga Tanga team.”
Buoyed by the victory in Juja where his candidate won, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has already unveiled US-based Raymond Kuria, a two-time contestant, as the candidate for his People’s Empowerment Party (PEP).According to sources, Kuria is warming up to capitalize on any slight fallout as a result of the Jubilee primaries.
Raymond, a philanthropist through his Raymond Kuria Foundation, will be taking a third stab having unsuccessfully vied in 2013 and 2017 when he lost to Koinange.
He is considered a strong candidate capable of overrunning a weak Jubilee candidate.
Separately, Deputy President William’s ally and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri yesterday took a swipe at some leaders accusing them of misleading the President on the political state of the country.
Ngunjiri claimed that the president was losing his grip of his stronghold.
Eric Wainaina and Rawlings Otieno
Additional Reporting Roy Lumbe, Noah Cheploan and Clement Kamau