Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 16 Sep 2016 19:56 EATrosemukonyo@yahoo.com
Last week's defection by nine Ukambani MPs from opposition parties to the newly-launched Jubilee Party has triggered political activity in the region more than a year to the next general elections.
Already, politicians aspiring for parliamentary seats are positioning themselves in constituencies whose MPs announced their defections. Opposition parties, in particular the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) which is the dominant party in the region, have received a boost as the aspirants hoping to unseat the MPs seek other party tickets.
The MPs who announced their defection to JP are Joe Mutambu (Mwingi North),Regina Ndambuki ( Kilome), Richard Makenga ( Kaiti), Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni), as well as Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Vincent Musyoka ( Mwala), Francis Mwangangi (Yatta), Rachel Kaki (Kitui South) and Itwiku Mbai (Masinga).
Their defection has also sparked a campaign by WDM party loyalists from the region who say the MPs have betrayed the wishes of their constituents. Kathiani legislator Robert Mbui said this week that the MPs' defection has ended a chapter of internal wrangling in WDM.
The MP accused the defectors of having made many demands in the opposition CORD coalition in order to create friction between the opposition's leaders. Some of the MPs had demanded WDM party leader Kalonzo Musyoka be named the opposition's presidential candidate for the next elections.
Speaking at Nzaikoni market in his constituency, Mr Mbui said, "Now we know they were always Jubilee moles who were motivated by their selfish interests." The MP said his colleagues had written their political obituaries by going against the wishes of those who elected them.
"I am telling the defectors to be ready to face the wrath of the voters," he warned. He further described their action as "inconsequential", adding that WDM was ready to support any candidate who would be picked by the CORD to face off with President Uhuru Kenyatta in the forthcoming general elections.
Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.