The rift in the Jubilee Party continued to widen as a section of elected and aspiring Embu politicians cautioned the party leadership against underhand dealings that may scuttle the party primaries in April.
The group led by former Cooperatives Development minister Njeru Ndwiga claims Jubilee luminaries at the party headquarters were planning to unfairly hand some aspirants direct tickets at the disadvantage of other candidates who had expressed interest in elective posts.
Speaking at a hotel in Embu town, Ndwiga, a who was flanked by Governor Martin Wambora and Senator Lenny Kivuti, Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi and Mbeere North Parliamentarian Muriuki Njagagua stated that there was evidence of favoritism for one gubernatorial candidate’s camp despite the assurance by President Uhuru Kenyatta that there were no sacred cows in Jubilee.
In a rare show of unity, Governor Wambora and Senator Kivuti who are both bidding for the gubernatorial post shook hands and shared a podium to slam the alleged appointment of County Assembly Speaker Kariuki Mate to the position of Jubilee Director of Elections in charge of nominations.
But when contacted, Speaker Mate said he did not hold any such position and called on the aspirants to drop their crybaby tendencies and bravely approach the party primaries without developing cold feet towards the perceived stronger candidates in the political contest.
The leaders also scoffed at Runyenjes legislator Cecily Mbarire and accused her of maneuvering clandestine schemes at the party headquarters without the knowledge of the party leader and his deputy. They warned politicians garnering for elective posts against using their proximity to the president and his deputy to gain undue advantage over their competitors before the April nominations.
They said that since the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission may not be at a position to conduct the party primaries due to time and logistical constrains, the confidence of candidates for various elective post was running out.
Ndwiga however downplayed rumours that Embu Jubilee candidates who were uncomfortable with the running of party affairs were plotting mass defections to other parties that had pledged their support to President Kenyatta. He at the same time warned the President against unfairly favouring one candidate.
The politicians said they were initially uncomfortable with mobilizing eligible voters to register and rally behind the Jubilee Party because there was no indication that nominations would be free and fair in addition to the schemes to lock them out of the primaries and consequently edge them out of the party.
However, they restated that they had agreed to first marshal support for the President’s reelection bid through voter registration, then sort out internal party wrangles after the official close of the listing of eligible voters across the country.