The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Shitanda Trashes Uhuru, Ruto Bid

HOUSING minister Soita Shitanda has said the pre-election alliance between Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will "substantially weaken the two" in their race to State House.

Shitanda, who is Malava MP, said the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities have no history of working together politically. He predicted there will be fallout between supporters of Uhuru and those of Ruto.

"Though the two have come together, they must know that they are much more stronger separately than together. The history between the two communities cannot allow them to work together as clearly shown during the 2007/08 disputed elections," said Shitanda.

He spoke in Kakamega yesterday after meeting United Democratic Forum delegates from the county. Party's county youth leader Alex Khamasi accompanied the MP.

Shitanda said UDF, on whose ticket Deputy prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi will contest the presidency next year, is not scared about the Uhuru-Ruto alliance.

MPs allied to both Uhuru and Ruto have embarked on a campaign to sell the benefits of the Uhuru-Ruto ticket to strongholds of TNA and URP parties. They are set to begin holding joint rallies in the next few weeks.

Yesterday, Shitanda said that UDF had embarked on an aggressive membership recruitment drive across the country in readiness for the party nominations expected next month.

Shitanda warned those imagining that UDF was waiting to benefit from miseries of other politicians that they would be in for a rude shock come March 4.

Speaking separately while launching UDF membership recruitment drive in his constituency, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito said the ongoing election alliance talks between UDF and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper party would provide a winning team.

"The talks are meant to present to Kenyans a non-controversial and moderate pair of leaders to whose hands they can entrust the future of the country," said Kizito.

Kizito warned warned MPs from Western region backing Prime Minister Raila Odinga's presidential bid that they would face the electorate wrath as they were going against their wishes.

Shitanda at the same time dismissed as untrue and misleading, reports that he was, together with Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale pushing to be given automatic nominations by UDF.

"We are not pushing for direct nomination because that amounts to killing democracy in the party. We are prepared to face our opponents and floor them," said Shitanda.

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