Kenya: Jubilee Takes First Step to Coalition With ODM

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) in a show of unity with Deputy President William Ruto (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga, during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on November 27, 2019 (file photo).

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee has taken the first step within party structures in its bid to forge a coalition with Mr Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Jubilee officials yesterday tabled proposals for the coalition with ODM before the party's National Management Committee (NMC) for ratification.

Deputy Secretary General Joshua Kuttuny, who attended yesterday's NMC meeting at the party's headquarters in Nairobi, told Nation a wide range of issues were discussed, including coalitions with like-minded parties.

"[We discussed] a broad-based alliance. We want to engage with the many parties," he said, adding: "Wiper has shown interest, ANC [Amani National Congress]and ODM are all are on board."

He said the NMC will decide and "a communication will be made in due course." He said the meeting also deliberated on the July 15 Kiambaa by-election and plans of revamping the party.

Separately, Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru has said Jubilee needs to address the challenges facing the party in the face of its dwindling fortunes especially in Mt Kenya region.

Strengthen the party

"We must strengthen the party from within," Ms Waiguru said after she appeared before a committee of the Senate yesterday.

She said the main problem in the party is bureaucrats who rule by fiat, adding that this has led to disillusionment forcing politicians to seek solace elsewhere.

Party officials, including Secretary General Raphael Tuju, vice chairman David Murathe and National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip Maoka Maore last week met with their ODM counterparts Edwin Sifuna (Secretary General) and Junet Mohammed (National Assembly minority whip) to discuss how to transform the March 9, 2018 "Handshake"pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga into a coalition.

Five negotiators will represent each party while the respective executive directors are poised to be the joint secretaries.

Jubilee will be represented in the talks by vice-chairman David Murathe, Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, National Assembly Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe, Igembe North MP Maoka Maore and Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda.

On the ODM side are chairman John Mbadi, Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, nominated senator Agnes Zani and Kisii woman rep Janet Ong'era.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Oruko

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