News Politics

Dramatic defections to Ruto’s UDA party, jolts Jubilee ahead of a key by-election

President Uhuru’s ruling Jubilee Party was on Wednesday jolted when three MPs dramatically defected to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with the Deputy President William Ruto.

Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Wa Muchomba who was until Wednesday a strong supporter of President Uhuru was among the three MPs who joined the “hustler movement” that they have been fighting over the years.

Others who were received by Ruto were Nakuru Town East MP Paul Gikaria and his Githunguri counterpart Kago wa Lydia – with several other defections said to be on the way as Ruto continues to woo voters from Mt Kenya region from President Uhuru.

With her defection, Gathoni joins a long list of women reps from Mt Kenya who have joined Ruto’s UDA party even though they are still technically Jubilee Party members until they resign or are kicked out.

The defection of the three MPs was a big blow to the group supporting President Uhuru also known as “kieleweke” whose numbers keep on falling.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu considered the founder of Kieleweke wing of Jubilee was philosophical in his response to Gathoni’s defection saying even though he does not believe in what she did, he supported her decision.

“Knowing her well Iam sure she has thought this through and she believes she is doing the right thing. I do not agree with her, but this doesn’t change the respect I have for her. I wish her well as we engage from across each other politically,’’ said Ngunjiri.

He went to predict that there will be more defections along the way and called for urgent fixing of the Jubilee Party.

“As things stand, I will not be surprised if we lose another one or two more valuable players. We have some heavy lifting ahead to fix our party and not every one will want to do it,’’ said Ngunjiri cryptly.

Ngunjiri went on to urge those who still believe in Jubilee to take the defections as a warning and a lesson and focussing on fixing the party and forestall the loss of more valuable members.

Gathoni said she was aligning herself with Ruto because that is what the people want.

Fortunes of Jubilee Party have suffered since it lost the Juja Parliamentary seat in Kiambu County – the home ground of President Uhuru to a little known party associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

The timing of Wednesday’s defections with the Kiambaa parliamentary by-election happening in less than three weeks is seen as a deliberate attempt by UDA to sway public opinion towards their candidate.

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