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Wiper Party's Agnes Kavindu (left) and Maendeleo Chap Chap's Mutua Katuku (right)/CFM

Kenya

Maendeleo Chap Chap pulls out of Machakos Senate by-election

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 17 – Maendeleo Chap Chap party has pulled out of the Machakos Senatorial by-election which is scheduled for Thursday following a unity plea by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who is the party leader, said the decision to withdraw its candidate Mutua Katuku was arrived at following a consultative meeting that brought together other political parties at State House, Nairobi.

“Maendeleo Chap Chap party supported the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and in the spirit of consistency, we support his development agenda and the political stability of the nation,” Governor Mutua said in a statement Tuesday.

President Kenyatta on Monday chaired a virtual meeting with top party leaders including Raila Odinga (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetangula (FORD-Kenya), Charity Ngilu (NARC) and Mutua.

During the meeting, the leaders discussed several issues, including the Machakos Senatorial by-election where they emphasized on the need for a peaceful exercise to avoid scenarios like the ones witnessed in Matungu and Kabuchai in Western Kenya.

While citing the party’s support for the handshake, Governor Mutua said heeding the President’s call would foster unity in the high stakes poll that was occasioned by the death of the late Senator Boniface Kabaka.

“Maendeleo Chap Chap Party extends goodwill to the President, Raila Odinga and other BBI partners by withdrawing it’s candidate from the forthcoming by-election,” he said.

Mutua said the time had come to end the culture of divisive politics which have in the past been governed by winner take all culture.

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The development is a big win for Wiper party candidate Agnes Kavindu who will now contest the seat with other candidates key among them United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Urbanus Ngengele who is backed by Deputy President William Ruto.

Governor Mutua vowed to support Kavindu’s candidature in the by-election that according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has a total of close to 624, 000 registered voters.

Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama who also doubles up as the UDA Chairman has been traversing the county campaigning for the party’s candidate.

The by-election is indeed a litmus test for Muthama whose influence and that of the UDA party in the region will be tested.

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