Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 29 Jun 2017 14:19 EATlmwihaki@kenyafreepress.com
President Kenyatta’s decision yesterday in Kirinyaga not to endorse either Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Ms Ann Waiguru or Narc-Kenya’s Ms Martha Karua levels the ground for aspirants of the coveted seat to gamble for the 349,836 registered voters in the county.
Ms Waiguru, and Ms Karua as well as the incumbent Mr Joseph Ndathi vying as an Independent will sell their agenda on the basis of being behind the re-election of President Kenyatta.
Ms Waiguru, the former devolution cabinet secretary, and Ms Karua the NARC party leader, are locked in a fierce contest and President Kenyatta’s decision to remain neutral is a blessing in disguise for all the candidates since the county is a Jubilee stronghold.
Unlike in previous campaign tours where he campaigned for Jubilee Party candidates, Uhuru steered clear of endorsing any candidate in the Kirinyaga governorship race.
“I want to tell you that all these candidates are on our side, it’s upon you to choose who you want, do we agree on that?” the president said.
He told residents to elect the candidate of their choice as both Ms Karua and Ms Waiguru were his friends. “These two ladies are my friends and if you elect one of them as a governor, I will give the other a government job,” said the Head of State amid applause.
Ms Karua added that, “I am on a Narc-Kenya unapologetically according to my right, again, the president is in his party ticket according to his right. He came to our National Delegates Conference (NDC) and we endorsed him, I expect him to come and seek votes and also stick to his promise that Narc-Kenya and Jubilee are going to work together, and so I don’t expect him to undermine my candidature, because he gave his promise not to do so and that’s why am here supporting him”
The president’s middle ground however, appeared to contradict Deputy President William Ruto’s call for a six-piece pro-Jubilee voting that was not cheered by everyone. Ms Waiguru in what appeared like endorsing Ruto’s statement added that Kirinyaga is a 100 per cent Jubilee and they always vote six piece and that they do not expect any change whatsoever.
Earlier, supporters of the two candidates clashed at Kianyaga in Kutus and Mwea.
The President’s decision appeared to have been prompted by the resistance he and his deputy William Ruto have faced in various counties within Mt Kenya region after trying to advocate for six-piece voting and endorsing Jubilee Party candidates.
Voters have rejected the call and demanded freedom to vote for leaders of their choice. The script was the same in Murang’a, Nyeri, Meru and Tharaka Nithi as the two leaders were greeted by the brewing rebellion which started immediately after the nominations.
A host of losers decamped from Jubilee to run as independent candidates, claiming they were edged out unfairly and that the primaries were shambolic.