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Sensing tough battles ahead for Ukambani defectors, Jubilee to rely on elders to reach region

Politicians who have defected to Jubilee Party led by Francis Mwangangi (Yatta), Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni) and Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) believe the Kamba community should take a political about-turn and support President Uhuru Kenyatta for re-election.

By Rose Mukonyorosemukonyo@yahoo.comSunday, 18 Sep 2016 17:21 EAT

A section of the crowd that turned out for CORD's rally in Mathare this afternoon.

There has been intensified political lobbying in Ukambani following the recent defections by a section of MPs elected on opposition tickets to the recently launched Jubilee Party.

Politicians who have defected to Jubilee Party led by Francis Mwangangi (Yatta), Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni) and Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) believe the Kamba community should take a political about-turn and support President Uhuru Kenyatta for re-election.

In an interview with the Kenya Free Press, Hon. Munyao said the community must quit opposition politics and back the Government in order to enjoy benefits of "being in power."

“It is clear the community has gained almost nothing by being in the opposition and so we are telling our people to support Uhuru Kenyatta in the next general elections,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Hon. Munyaka, who said his ‘prophesy’ that the Kamba nation has no future in the opposition was soon going to be confirmed.

“I said from the onset that the Kamba community risked political oblivion working with the opposition against the government and now anyone can see from recent activity that we have discovered our mistakes and are now heading in the right direction politically,” he said.

Recognizing the huge challenges faced by the defectors in winning the government support in Ukambani, the governing coalition has opened an independent channel of communication with the region, relying on Kikuyu elders to reach their Kamba counterparts.

Last Thursday’s political meeting between the Gikuyu Embu and Meru Association (Gema) and elders from Akamba Clans Governing Council in Masinga has elicited mixed reactions from local politicians.

The meeting held at Masinga Dam Resort sought to promote a political re-union targeting the Kamba community to join the Jubilee Party ahead of the next general election.

But Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, while addressing journalists in Tala dismissed the defections, terming them as inconsequential to Wiper party’s dominance in the region.

“Those who have defected to Jubilee Party have done so on their own and their individual decision should not be taken as the position of the larger community,” said Mule.

Last week, Kathiani MP Robert Mbui also warned that defectors to Jubilee Party risked facing the wrath of the electorate at the ballot.

The battle in Ukambani mirrors the national slugfest between Jubilee and CORD which has put the country on election mood with a whole year to go before the next general elections. Nairobi has hosted two political meetings by Jubilee and CORD over the past two weekends.

Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.





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