The endorsement of Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni as the secretary general of the revamped Jubilee Party by National Delegates Congress (NDC) on Friday is a vote of confidence by President Uhuru Kenyatta and its membership.
Mr Kioni is touted as a voice of reason and shrewd politician who has been described by party members and politicians allied to the party as an aggressive mobilizer with vast experience in Mt Kenya politics and the country at large.
According to keen observers, Mr Kioni has remained a trusted foot-soldier of President Kenyatta especially in defending his legacy while some Mt Kenya MPs flip-flopped in their loyalty to the party.
Kioni has been working closely withMPs Ngunjiri Wambugu(Nyeri Town), Jude Njomo (Kiambu Town), Kanini Kega (Kieni), Sabina Chege (Muranga), Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) among others in the ongoing aggressive campaign to revitalise the ruling party and make it the dominant outfit in the Mt Kenya region.
He has been very instrumental in activating what the party has christened the red army in Mt Kenya as they prepare the ground ahead of President Kenyatta’s anticipated countrywide engagements as from this week.
So far the MPs have held over 40 town-hall meetings in Murang’a, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Nairobi, Laikipia and Nakuru to demystify the alleged collapse of the party.
“It is high time to counter this political narrative so that we can save the nation from the apocalypse that is being engineered by the Deputy President,” Kioni told Nyeri residents on Sunday.
The Ndaragwa MP is especially credited for his gallant fight for the one-man-one-vote-one shilling revenue allocation formular that seeks to devolve more funds to the Mt Kenya region.
He maintains that had the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)initiative progressed, Mt Kenya region was set to be the biggest beneficiary through huge funds allocations to its populous counties which its leaders have been championing under the one-man-one-vote-one-shilling clarion.
“There is no way out for somebody who has been opposing BBI that was to give Mt Kenya more resources can now claim to be championing for it’s interests” Kioni said recently.
Mr Kioni is also on record as the architect of the bill that seeks to make it mandatory for aspirants and political parties to disclose the amount and sources of contributions received for campaign purposes.
The Election Campaign Financing (Amendment) Bill, 2021 says any political party or committee planning a referendum and fails to disclose funds or donations as required under the law will be deemed to have committed an offence.
With the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) case still pending in the Court of Appeal, Kioni is behind a move that also seeks to implement some of the constitutional changes proposed in the legacy project.
As a boost for the Handshake duo of President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai has asked Kenyans to present proposals on the Kioni Bill that contains some of the critical proposals contained in the BBI.
As the chair of the crucial Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee in the National Assembly, Kioni’s contribution in the floor of the house is immeasurable and no wonder he has been tapped to steer the party into the August 9 polls
In October last year Mr Kioni was the first MP to come out to defend president Kenyatta following the Pandora Papers leak.
He said that the country should fight against corruption and ensure political stability in order to attract investors both locally and from abroad.
Kioni also noted that he is in full support of a newly introduced bill in the parliament suggesting that anyone facing corruption cases should step down and allow for investigations and must not contest for any seat until the case is complete.
“In other countries, they have been able to fight corruption because when one is suspected of corruption they step aside and let the investigation take place. That is what we lack here in Kenya,” he said.