July 25th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Independent candidates face growing threats in NASA, Jubilee zones

Leading civil society activist Timothy Njoya has challenged the credibility of the independent candidates. "You should become independent before nominations not after losing nominations. Those kind of politicians I call them fake...they shouldn't be elected to any office," said the Rev. Njoya.

By Jackson Okataamboleokata@gmail.comThursday, 25 May 2017 10:23 EAT

Members of Kenya Alliance of Independent Candidates led by (L-R) governorship candidates Peter Kenneth and William Kabogo and Tetu MP Ndungu Githinji.

The increasing opposition to independent candidates by NASA and Jubilee leaders is poisoning the political climate for the candidates ahead of the August general elections.

While NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have explicitly rejected the candidates, the Jubilee team has embraced those in marginal areas like northern Kenya and the coast but expressed lukewarm views on those from Central, Rift Valley and Nairobi. Only deputy president William Ruto has announced that Jubilee leaders would only support their party candidates.

But non political groups have now joined the war against independent candidates. Leading civil society activist Timothy Njoya has challenged the credibility of the independent candidates running in this election. "You should become independent before nominations not after losing nominations. Those kind of politicians I call them fake...they shouldn't be elected to any office," said the Rev. Njoya.

The Rift Valley Council of Elders has equally expressed concern over the high number of independent candidates under the Kenya Alliance of Independent Candidates. Speaking during a press conference in Nakuru yesterday, the elders led by their spokesperson Gilbert Kabage said that commitment by most of the independent candidates to deliver their promises to the electorate was questionable.

While acknowledging that there were irregularities in the Jubilee and ODM primaries, Mr Kabage who read the statement on behalf of the elders said that the people had spoken and sent out a strong message that time for leaders who forget about their promises after ascending to power was over.

The elders said that most of the independent candidates might get a rude shock after participating in the August 8th polls as the same people who voted them out of the party primaries will be participating in the general elections and will have no choice but to speak louder by casting their votes for fresh leadership.

The elders expressed concern that most of those seeking re-election as independent candidates had failed in their areas of work and are unlikely to change given another chance to serve. Mr Kabage said that most these leaders misappropriated public funds and could only be out to protect their interests by seeking re-election.

The elders appealed to the independent candidates to do a self-evaluation and make informed decisions of either quitting the race or supporting those who won instead of waiting to suffer a humiliating defeat after the August polls.

In the Jubilee camp, there is a growing perception that the main independent candidates like William Kabogo and Peter Kenneth were wrongly rigged out by the deputy president William Ruto.

Speaking early today, nominated senator Paul Njoroge claimed that Mr Ruto had successfully rigged out his enemies from Rift Valley, Central and Nairobi.

“We saw that senior politicians from Central and Rift Valley who were opposed to the DP were rigged out during the just concluded Jubilee primaries.”

The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County





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