“Jubilee has lost grip of Mt Kenya completely. People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) is the future,” Kuria, PEP’s party leader claimed.
Kuria, a member of the Jubilee Party fielded candidates in the December 2020 by-elections held in Mt Kenya, challenging the party that got him elected to Parliament.
PEP’s candidate Esther Mwihaki was elected to the Murang’a County Assembly after winning the Gaturi Ward by-elections. She trounced seven other candidates including Jubilee’s Rosemary Wakuthie.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa who also spoke to kenyagist.com attributed Jubilee’s declining influence in Mt Kenya to an alleged poor leadership in the party.
“Jubilee lost grip when it was hijacked by a cabal that has no regard for anyone. They made the party lose touch with the people as Jubilee is run like an exclusive private members club,” Ichung’wa remarked.
The leaders’ sentiments come at the backdrop of widely publicised rifts among the party members.
The division has seen the rise of splinter groups within the party, some aligning themselves with President Uhuru Kenyatta and others with Deputy President William Ruto.
On Wednesday, December 16, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, an ally of Kenyatta, stated that Jubilee was strong and would bounce back despite loses in the by-election.
Wambugu also commended Ruto’s team, for winning by-elections in Kwale and Nakuru Counties.
“As a proud member of the Jubilee Party, I accept that we supported the candidates who were defeated. We have lost in this particular battle,” Wambugu conceded.
“We watched the unfolding and I believe we also learnt. Fortunately, as Jubilee we will live to fight another day as the war is not over yet. We look forward to the next battle,” he stated.
Political Analysts Javas Bigambo weighed in on the by-election results in Msambweni, Kwale County, stating that the result had tested the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) spirit and the prospects of a referendum.
He argued that BBI proposed unity and cohesion, yet leaders at the Coast were embroiled in violence and bribery allegations.
“This goes against the BBI agenda. However, it also calls for Kenyatta and Odinga to keenly listen to what the people want. In the end, whether we have BBI or not, it cannot cure strange manners and bad behaviour like violence,” he stated.