Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 04 May 2017 21:54 EATmmuthoni@kenyafreepress.com
Former cabinet minister Kirugi Laiboni M'Mukindia defected to the opposition coalition today, the most senior political figure to announce a change of political position since the end of party primaries last week. NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga received Mr M'Mukindia and former assistant minister Koigi Wamwere to the opposition at a press conference in Nairobi this afternoon.
M'Mukindia and Koigi are political lightweights, pale shadows of their former selves and are not expected to bring significant votes to the opposition coalition. However, both men have had illsutrious careers and have a reputation for independence, characteristics that make them uniquely suited to drive a new wave of consciousness in the Mt Kenya region in favour of NASA.
Beyond sentimental value in receiving defectors from the bedrock of President Uhuru Kenyatta's support base, Mr Odinga received the two men just a day after at least a dozen grasroots Jubilee leaders from Laikipia and Nyandarua counties joined NASA, expressing disaffection with Jubilee Party which they claimed had rigged them out during the primary vote.
Below is the rush transcript of the press statement the Nyandarua and Laikipia leaders read to the media yesterday as transcribed by the Kenya Free Press. Copy may not be in its final form.
"By the way the (Jubilee) nominations were conducted, subquent treatments and the humiliation of those who appealed to the party over the irregularities during the primaries, we wish to state very clearly, that there is a powerful hand that’s not only rigging out some candidates but also manipulating the whole process with the intentions of to have preferred persons to be elected in Mt Kenya region.
"We wish to distance ourselves from on-going Jubilee appeals and nominations and as a team of aspirants, business persons, religious leaders and opinion leaders today resign and decamp from Jubilee Party and join NASA team to push for the agenda of Mount Kenya within NASA.
"We will not only campaign for NASA candidates but will also move from town to town, from village to village and from house to house to educate our people that we are safe in NASA government and a time has come for the people not to be manipulated, not to be controlled and not be rigged out in the purpose of having preferred persons as our leaders.
"We have decided to organize rallies for our candidates in all the seven counties and we are going to drum up support for the NASA presidential candidate. We will preach peace and reconciliation to our people and particularly erase the negative picture in the mind of all the Mount Kenya people of the negative propaganda over a Raila government.
"We will mobilize all aspirants, business persons and opinion leaders to embrace the NASA government and speak over a Kenyan leader, not a leader for the Kikuyu, not a leader for the Luo, not a leader for the Kalenjin or any other tribe in this nation.
"We will inform and educate all Kenyans that the people we need to know the agenda, the manifesto and vision of the NASA leadership, so we join hands with all Kenyans from today irrespective of their tribe to unite this nation around a common agenda of transforming lives of ordinary Kenyans.
"We pledge to inform and educate in all regions that are Kenyans that we will not benefit under the Jubilee government but through our national leader without putting the future of the next generation into danger. We therefore finally declare our resolve to support the NASA leadership and look forward to a transformative transitional governments on 8th August. May God bless us, may God bless Kenya."