15 June 2019

Kenya: Opposition Leaders Seeking Kenyatta's Endorsement for Presidency Asked to Join Jubilee

Mukurweini — A section of Members of Parliament from Central Kenya have asked those in the Opposition seeking to be endorsed for presidency in 2022 by President Uhuru Kenyatta to first join the Jubilee Party.

The lawmakers, however, noted that joining Jubilee would not be a sufficient condition to getting the party's presidential ticket.

They said every candidate would have to be exposed to stiff competition that is informed by his or her ideas and development record.

Speaking on Saturday in Mukurweini, Nyeri County, in the company of Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of various development projects in the region, the leaders said there were no shortcuts in Jubilee party.

They were Anthony Kiai (Mukurweini), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Rahab Mukami (Woman Rep, Nyeri), Michael Muchira (Oljororok), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Mugambi Gichuki (Othaya), James Gichuhi (Tetu), George Murugara (Tharaka), Kuria Kimani (Molo), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha) and Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina.

"You have to work for it. In Jubilee, we are development focused and it's your track-record and policies that would market you. We are not a party that endorses mediocrity," said Gachagua.

The Mathira MP said legacies cannot be attained when leaders are not in touch with the people they ought to serve at the grassroots.

He said Jubilee had set high standards that would make Kenya better and any compromise to the nomination process would take the country back to the "dark days".

Nyoro supported the sentiments, observing that Kenya was past the endorsement of leaders.

"We paid heavily for this sin of people sitting somewhere and handpicking leaders for the country. This time around, we are putting those seeking seats to tough examinations," he said.

The Kiharu MP asked leaders seeking to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022 to sell their programmes to Kenyans.

"It is only from Kenyans that an endorsement can be realized," Nyeri Woman Representative Mukami added.

Senator Maina challenged those seeking political seats to have strategies that would propel the country forward rather than engaging in political witch-hunt.

"This is a new political order that does not rely on propaganda and mudslinging. We should therefore endeavour to sell our manifesto to Kenyans," noted Maina.

Deputy President said leaders must serve Kenyans instead of engaging in the politics of succession.

He said leaders owe Kenyans through the election pledges they made during the 2017 elections campaign.

Dr Ruto further pledged to continue serving Kenyans with diligence, observing that he was not voted in office "to sleep in the house".

"I was employed by Kenyans to assist the President in making their lives better," he said.

He asked his critics to engage in meaningful activities that will add value to Kenyans, saying he cannot be stopped from discharging his constitutional duties.

The Deputy President said roads need to be fixed, homes and businesses connected to power and access to clean drinking water by Kenyans guaranteed besides ensuring that the country's healthcare and education system is modernized.

Earlier, the MPs had asked the Deputy President to intensify his tours of the country, arguing that the regular trips were catalyzing the transformation of the country.

Mukurweini's Kiai observed that leaders were elected to serve the people and not "sit and lazy" in Nairobi.

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