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Tangatanga leaders plead with Uhuru to free MP Waluke from jail

Monday July 20 2020
waluke

Tangatanga allied leaders on July 19, 2020 hold prayers at the home of Sirisia MP Waluke who was recently jailed for corruption. The leaders pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and release the lawmaker. PHOTO | BRIAN OJAMAA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OJAMAA

A section of Jubilee MPs and leaders allied to the Tangatanga group have pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to pardon Sirisia MP John Waluke and have him release from jail.

Waluke is the Bungoma County Jubilee Party chairman and was jailed after he was convicted of corruption.

On Sunday, the Tangatanga leaders trooped to the MP’s home in Sirisia to comfort his family with prayers following his imprisonment for defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) of millions of shillings.

The leaders, mostly from western Kenya, said that Waluke was the one popularising the ruling party in the region and his arrest and incarceration is affecting Jubilee’s activities in the area.

"We are humbly requesting the President as the Jubilee leader to pardon his Bungoma County Jubilee chairman Waluke and come to his aide just the way he forgave Raila Odinga when he swore himself as the (people’s) ‘president’ at Uhuru Park," the leaders said.

JAILED FOR 67 YEARS

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Last month, Waluke was imprisoned for 67 years with the option of paying a fine of Sh1 billion.

The vocal Tangatanga MP was convicted alongside others for defrauding the NCPB in a maize tender scandal.

Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu were ordered to pay nearly Sh2 billion or serve time in jail for defrauding NCPB.

Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi said that Waluke was a victim of bad politics targeting DP Ruto.

"We want our President to remember what Waluke did for Uhuru's presidential victory in the last poll when he vigorously took on Nasa team as a Jubilee county chairman without any fear," he said.

The MP noted that Waluke became sick with a head tumour during the repeat 2017 presidential poll and collapsed in a Webuye rally that had been attended by President Kenyatta.

COLLAPSED AT MEETING

“Uhuru himself saw me take Waluke out of stage in Webuye when he collapsed. We want our president to remember him and stand with his family and Sirisia residents and see him out of jail," Mr Kapondi said.

He added that there is no MP in western region who has been as generous as Waluke whom he said had done so much development for Sirisia people.

"Some leaders and the Bungoma electorate had even started requesting for the MP to be the next Bungoma governor in 2022 due to his sound development track record," he said.

Malava MP Malulu Injedi said that what Waluke did for Mr Kenyatta to be president was very unique and no strong Jubilee supporter can forget that.

He said that the MP helped Jubilee to get several parliamentary and county assembly seats in Bungoma in the last polls yet the area had been perceived as a Nasa stronghold.

TEARGASSED

The MP said that it is saddening to see pro-Ruto MPs were being teargassed when they meet people at the grassroots.

"I was at my place with 20 people last month when I was teargassed. I was teargassed again yesterday at MP Gimose’s place. What is all this for?" Mr Injedi posed.

Webuye west MP Dan Wanyama asked residents to keep on praying for the jailed legislature.

Waluke’s family said it is a painful experience for the children to wake up every day asking of the whereabouts of their father, who now must raise at least Sh1 billion to be released from prison.

The family, led by the MP’s two wives, also urged President Kenyatta to intervene on their behalf to have Waluke released from prison.

Jubilee lawmakers present at the prayer meeting were Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga and Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama.

Former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, who is eyeing a governor’s seat in 2022, was also among leaders who attended the special prayers.

The Tangatanga-allied leaders also vowed not to stop supporting DP Ruto despite the ongoing purge in the ruling party.

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