President Uhuru Kenyatta’s key campaigners from Ukambani region have threatened to ditch Jubilee Party and rejoin Wiper after they were left out of government jobs.
The former MPs, who ran on Jubilee tickets and lost in the 2017 election, have on several occasions met Wiper leaders including Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama to discuss the possibility of rejoining their former party.
According to former Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao, they have been in constant talks with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka in the spirit of building bridges. “We are consulting as a community to discuss our common issues beyond the political parties we belong to. We are in touch with Mr Musyoka and we’ll be announcing the way forward soon,” said Mr Munyao.
The Sunday Nation established that the latest meeting took place on Monday last week when Mr Muthama hosted the former MPs for lunch at Tamarind Hotel in the city where he expressed Wiper’s willingness to accept them back.
Earlier, Mr Munyao told mourners at a burial ceremony attended by Mr Muthama and other Wiper leaders in Mbooni that he was willing to ditch Jubilee and troop to Wiper to protest the way they have been treated since the elections.
Other than crying foul after they all missed out on State jobs announced recently by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the group is opposed to the appointment of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma “to represent Ukambani region in government”.
Mr Munyao and former Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu have said Dr Juma does not represent the political interests of the Kamba community in government because she is married in Murang’a County.
Mr Mutambu said it was clear the Kamba community had been shortchanged in the Cabinet line-up and the subsequent State appointments that the President has unveiled.
“Let no one lie to us that by appointing Dr Juma to the Cabinet, the Kamba community is represented because she is no longer one of us,” the former MP said, adding it is a taboo in Kamba customs for a daughter to claim leadership back home once dowry is paid.
The former MPs now accuse President Kenyatta of reneging on a pledge to reward them with jobs in case they lost their seats and killing their political careers.
USED AND DUMPED
“We are not happy because the pledge to appoint a Cabinet secretary from Ukambani wasn’t fulfilled and the community feels their sons and daughters were used and dumped,” said Mr Munyao.
He said they regret supporting Jubilee, insisting that appointing Dr Juma without giving another portfolio to Ukambani, was unacceptable.
“We have not only been left out in all significant State appointments, but also our access to the President and State House where we can engage on such issues has been restricted,” Mr Munyao said adding none of them is interested in working for Jubilee party again.
He said the expectations of the people were that at least one of the election losers will land a Cabinet appointment as a reward for campaigning for the President’s re-election in the region dominated by the Opposition Wiper party.
Mr Mutambu said having campaigned for the President in the region and beyond, they feel betrayed and shortchanged after he snubbed them while setting up his administration for his second term in office.
In separate interviews with the Sunday Nation, the former MPs from Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties claim that campaigning for Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto cost them their parliamentary seats and they should therefore have been treated with courtesy and appreciation.
Other than Dr Juma, the senior-most appointee from Ukambani region is Dr Julius Muia who was picked as principal secretary for Planning at Treasury. Among the group of former MPs, only former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki was reappointed as chairman of KMTC board.
Mr Munyao, who came second with more than 15,000 votes, said had he not defected from Wiper to Jubilee, he would have comfortably won, but lost because the President’s party was unpopular in Ukambani.
“We chose to stand with the President fully aware of the political consequences,” he said.