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Quit politics, MPs allied to Ruto tell Raila

Saturday August 17 2019

Inua Mama in Kirinyaga

Members of the Inua Mama political grouping during a function at Kagio Primary School in Kirinyaga County on August 16, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Jubilee MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto on Friday told Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga to quit politics.

The lawmakers in the Inua Mama grouping, a lobby supporting Mr Ruto’s presidential bid, said Mr Odinga has outlived his usefulness.

The ODM leader has gained prominence in the government since his March 9, 2018 handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

RUTO'S BID

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici, chairperson of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association, said Mr Odinga should leave the Deputy President alone.

“He has been in politics for long and should hang up his boots,” Ms Ngirici said.

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Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara said Mr Odinga is using some Jubilee MPs to attack Mr Ruto.

“We know what he is doing to the DP. Ruto is our presidential candidate for 2022,” she said.

A rival political formation of Jubilee lawmakers called Team Embrace dismissed the Inua Mama team.

At a different function in Kirinyaga, Governor Anne Waiguru said she would champion an Odinga presidency if he promises Mt Kenya some space in his government. The Kirinyaga County boss said the region would like to be in the next government.

VIP TREATMENT

Mr Odinga now receives regular briefings from Cabinet Secretaries, makes policy pronouncements and is accorded VIP treatment by State agencies.

His latest push for a referendum has also raised suspicion, with some seeing it as meant to create the position of prime minister for him. Some observers have indicated that the ‘handshake’ could give rise to a new coalition.

Members of the Inua Mama team said President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have a political covenant “which cannot be broken by anyone”.

Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei said during the campaigns in 2013 and 2017, Mr Kenyatta told Kenyans that Mr Ruto would take power when his term ends in 2022.

“We are therefore behind Ruto. We will not back anybody else for the top position,” Mrs Shollei said.

BUILDING BRIDGES

The team dismissed the Building Bridges Initiative and told Kenyans to reject it.

They criticised the government “for spending millions of taxpayers shillings funding the BBI, which is holding meetings in luxury hotels instead of seeking views from ordinary Kenyans”.

“BBI is a waste of money and resources and should be disbanded,” Ms Ngirici said.

Tharaka-Nithi Woman Rep Beatrice Nkatha asked Kenyans to support the Ekuru Aukot Punguza Mizigo constitutional amendment referendum bill.

“Dr Aukot collected views from Kenyans across the country and we are confident the county assemblies will pass the bill,” Ms Nkatha said.

NGIRICI ENDORSED

The group endorsed Ms Ngirici as its candidate for the Kirinyaga governor position in 2022.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa told Governor Waiguru to brace herself for political battle.

“We shall rally behind Ngirici and it will not be an easy ride for the incumbent,” Ms Jumwa said.

Unlike in previous leadership successions, there is no clear successor to the President, a factor that is increasingly causing discomfort and a feeling of political vulnerability in Mt Kenya.

Political analysts feel this is what has mostly given way to the growing rifts and unease among Jubilee MPs with the different factions in central Kenya.

Additional reporting by Reginah Kinogu