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Kibiru withdrawal from Senate race surprises MCAs, residents

Monday June 01 2020
Kibiru

Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru reacts during a sitting of the Senate's Trade committee on July 30, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE MUNENE

Senator Charles Kibiru's decision to withdraw his candidature from the Senate Deputy Speaker race in order to make way for a female candidate to promote gender equity has caught Kirinyaga residents and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) by surprise.

Mr Kibiru had been touted as the front-runner for the position after Prof Kithure Kindiki was pushed out over alleged insubordination. 

Mr Kibiru, however, declared on Monday that he will back Senator Margaret Kamar of Uasin Gishu County to take up the seat.

In a statement, Mr Kibiru said he was a firm believer in building the true face of Kenya in key national leadership institutions.

"In the interest of promoting gender equity and after thorough and wide consultations in the spirit of negotiated democracy, I have unreservedly withdrawn my candidature," he said.

He stressed that the interest of the country should come first.

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"As a matter of principle, I believe that the interests of our nation at this time when President Uhuru Kenyatta is keen on fostering greater coherence among Kenyans, it would be derelict of me not to view my would-be victory as merely pyrrhic," he added.

He observed that politics in the country calls for sacrifices, some of which must be personal.

He thanked his colleagues in the Senate who supported and encouraged him to vie for the coveted seat before he bowed out.

His move took Kirinyaga residents and MCAs who were lobbying for him by surprise.

The MCAs had appealed to Mr Kenyatta to prevail upon Senators to back Mr Kibiru.

They had described Mr Kibiru as an educated leader who deserved to replace Mr Kithure who was thrown out for being disloyal to the president.

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