The Jubilee party has vowed to give Deputy President a run for his money in the Mt Kenya region following the party’s resolve to retain President Uhuru Kenyatta as its party leader.
Jubilee bigwigs have hit the ground and they are determined to ensure the party wins majority of seats at the National Assembly and the Senate so as to give the party bargaining power after the August 9 polls.
At the moment the region’s MPs led by Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri, Muranga Women Rep Sabina Chege, Ndaragwa’s Jeremiah Kioni and over 20 allied to the ruling party are traversing the vast Mt Kenya counties to drum up support for the party’s candidates in the August polls.
Top on their agenda is to rally the region to back Jubilee and Azimio La Umoja presidential hopeful Raila Odinga. They have organized a series of rallies in the region and have vowed to ensure the party regains its foothold despite the recent propaganda by their arch-rival the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
According to Kioni they cannot allow Mt Kenya residents to gamble with their lives in a party that does not guarantee them a future.
“Mt Kenya residents are not sheep to be herded into a corner for other people’s selfish gains. Their voting numerical strength cannot be underestimated. They have no choice but to remain in Jubilee which they will use to bargain for their share of the national cake,” Kioni said on Friday during a meet-the -people tour in Gatundu North constituency.
Kioni cautioned residents against embracing UDA blindly when other regions of the country have remained firmly in parties that represent their interests.
“Politics is about interests and that is why the Ukambani region has never abandoned the Wiper party, Nyanza is firmly in ODM while Rift Valley people have been told to join UDA. Where will the people of Mt Kenya run to in the event they are shortchanged by UDA’s rank and file? That is why we want our people to foresee the future and not mere propaganda meant to drive them into a ditch which will be hard to get out of,” Kioni said.
Kioni noted that Mt Kenya stands to lose if they are not united and dismissed claims by Deputy President William Ruto that the region is under lock and key under UDA.
“History is our witness that DP Ruto has no interest for the region as he claims. In 2007 he was at the forefront in opposing President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election. He extended his dislike for the region when he opposed the 2010 constitution which ushered in a new political dispensation that gave us additional constituencies. Lately the same man poke holes in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which was meant to benefit the region. Then where is his love for the people of Mt Kenya?” Kioni posed.
The Ndaragwa legislator pointed out that Kiambu would have gotten the lion’s share of the 70 extra constituencies if the BBI report could have been implemented.
The creation of the extra seats, according to Kioni, would help safeguard some constituencies in Mt Kenya that are at risk of being wiped out by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through the boundaries review.
“We thought it was prudent to save the Mt Kenya constituencies from being scrapped and that is why we created more seats that would benefit women, youth and people with disabilities and cure the population issue as well,” said Kioni
He said Mbeere North, Ndaragwa, Tetu, Mukurwe-ini, Othaya, Mathioya and Kangema are some of Mt Kenya constituencies that risk losing their status for not meeting the population quota.
He said ODM leader Raila Odinga deserves credit for standing up for the region in the one-man-one vote-one shilling revenue sharing formula when DP Ruto and his allies strongly opposed more resources for Mt Kenya.
“What a hypocrisy on DP Ruto’s part when his allies opposed a formula to share revenue that was drafted by a commission that has competent people. In a homestead where a man has many wives and one family has five children, another 10 and when food is being served it cannot be served equally,” he said.
Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo warned Mt Kenya that history will judge them harshly if they follow UDA blindly.
“We remember how the late Attorney General Charles Njonjo and Cabinet Minister GG Kariuki helped him to ascend to power but they were the first people he threw under the bus once he seized power. The likes of Rigathi Gachagua, Ndindi Nyoro, Susan Kihika, Kimani Ichungwah and other like-minded Mt Kenya leaders who are demonizing President Uhuru at the moment will be the first victims of DP Ruto’s obsession with power should her form government,” Njomo said.