May 27th 2017

Top Stories / National

How Ruto's takeover of Jubilee primaries scuttled Peter Kenneth's last hopes

The message was passed to the senator personally by a top Jubilee official after word went round that Mr Sonko had promised to campaign for CORD leader and presumptive NASA presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga if he missed the Jubilee Party ticket.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSunday, 23 Apr 2017 18:19 EAT

Senator Sonko.

Nairobi senator Mike Sonko last night got the assurance of top Jubilee leaders that Wednesday's party primaries will be free and fair. The message was passed to the senator personally by a top Jubilee official after word went round that Mr Sonko had promised to campaign for CORD leader and presumptive NASA presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga if he missed the Jubilee Party ticket.

And with deputy president William Ruto taking charge of Jubilee nominations, hopes that the party machinery could be used to influence Sonko's opponent Peter Kenneth's win dissipated, according to a source close to Sonko who said the DP has been strongly supportive of the senator's ambitions over that of Peter Kenneth.

"The DP will personally direct the programme for the nominations in Nairobi and he personally asked that it be postponed to Wednesday," said the source, who expressed confidence that, with the changes, "Sonko's nomination is almost certainly assured."

This afternoon, strategists at the Peter Kenneth campaign secretariat who last week exuded confidence that their leader would take the ticket sounded forlon when reached by the Kenya Free Press as more details emerged about the deals that Sonko was striking with leading Kikuyu businessmen regarding his campaign strategies.

With growing recognition that Sonko was destined to win the Jubilee nomination, the senator is reported to have earned the backing of several Kikuyu businessmen initially supporting Mr Kenneth. However, businessman Chris Kirubi, who had been approached by Sonko as a potential economic adviser should Sonko become the governor, dismissed the senator's overtures.

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