Kakamega Jubilee supporters split after Sugoi visit

Tuesday January 12 2016

Deputy President William Ruto greets delegates after a meeting with political and opinion leaders from Kakamega and Bungoma counties at his Sugoi home in Eldoret on January 8, 2016. PHOTO | CHARLES KIMANI |

Deputy President William Ruto greets delegates after a meeting with political and opinion leaders from Kakamega and Bungoma counties at his Sugoi home in Eldoret on January 8, 2016. PHOTO | CHARLES KIMANI | DPPS

By BENSON AMADALA
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A disagreement has erupted among supporters of Jubilee Party from Kakamega County barely a week after a visit to the home of Deputy President William Ruto.

Former Lurambi MP Manyala Keya on Tuesday accused Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, who led the delegation of hijacking the visit for personal interests.

The accusations are likely to jolt the campaign by Jubilee to win support in Kakamega as rival leaders scramble for party position in the new political outfit set to be unveiled in March.

Mr Keya accused Mr Washiali of introducing only United Democratic Forum (UDF) party officials, leaving out those from other parties who travelled to Sugoi in Uasin Gishu County to show their support for Mr Ruto’s Jubilee Party.

Mr Washiali who has been spearheading campaigns to promote the Jubilee party in the County was accompanied by MPs Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and former MPs Justus Kizito.

Members of the delegation came from six constituencies: Lurambi, Shinyalu, Ikolomani, Navakholo, Mumias East and Mumias West.

Mr Keya said Mr Washiali had created the impression that the group that accompanied him to Sugoi comprised UDF MPs and party officials only.

“We are very disappointed with the manner Mr Washiali handled the visit to Mr Ruto’s home in Sugoi,” said Mr Keya.

He said the 2000 delegates from Kakamega were from different parties including TNA and Mr Washiali should have introduced them at the function.

“What happened during the visit in Sugoi is likely to undermine the support for Jubilee party in Kakamega,” said Mr Keya.

The former MP said the impression that UDF supporters from Kakamega were defecting to Jubilee party was misleading.

He said the party had lost its grass root officials to the Amani National Congress (ANC) of former deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi.

The TNA Kakamega County secretary Donald Musi said that Jubilee should come up with clear structures to accommodate supporters of other parties joining it.

“We want the Jubilee party national steering committee to be cautious when handling party matters at the grass root level to avoid unnecessary rivalry among supporters from different parties,” said Mr Musi.