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Akaranga, Jirongo change sides; pledge fealty to Uhuru ahead of rematch

President Kenyatta and Akaranga shake hands at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday/PSCU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – A State House ‘goodwill delegation’ led by Water CS Eugene Wamalwa, and which included Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and chief whip Benjamin Washiali called on President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.

During the meeting, former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga led the leaders from Western in pledging support for the President and his deputy in the October 17 repeat election.

President Kenyatta welcomed the support from the leaders, saying it signified Jubilee’s popularity across the country.

The President pointed out that with election of leaders in 44 counties, Jubilee has proved to be a party with an agenda of unifying all Kenyans for prosperity and development.

“This is the party where every Kenyan is welcome and feels at home,” said the President.

President Kenyatta said it was unfortunate that opposition leader Raila Odinga thrives in tribal division rather than unity.

“Raila Odinga thrives in tribal division.  The only thing he has done is to agitate against different communities,” said the President.

“We have campaigned all these years, but we never incited communities,” he added.

President Kenyatta spoke at State House Nairobi where he met the delegation of Luhya leaders, as he marshals support for his re-election following the Supreme Court judgement that nullified his August 8 victory.

The leaders, who included former Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and Cyrus Jirongo, assured the President of their commitment to ensuring he garners more votes in the October 17 election.

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At the meeting that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, the President pointed out that the opposition leader on Tuesday took his campaigns to Kisii and Nyamira in an attempt to exploit Jubilee leadership criticism of the Supreme Court ruling.

“We have no problem with the people of Kisii and Nyamira. We disagree with the ruling of the court, not the community,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta criticised Raila’s opposition to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s new election date citing “consultation”.

“There is no legal requirement that Raila be consulted. I was neither consulted, Kenya doesn’t belong to one man,” said the President.

Deputy President said Jubilee won the election fair and square with the party having 31 Woman Representatives, 29 Governors, 170 Members of Parliament, 27 senators and 800 Members of County Assembly.

“It would be a miracle if the opposition won the presidential poll; they couldn’t have lost five elections and won one,” said the Deputy President.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Majority Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali thanked the President and the Jubilee party for supporting the community by rewarding them with key positions in parliament.


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