Uhuru and I are still friends, Speaker Lusaka defends move to Kenya Kwanza

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula at Ford Kenya party county offices at H Young area on May 18 when the latter met all Bungoma Ford Kenya party aspirants.

Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Lusaka who is eyeing the Bungoma governor's seat says he chose Ford Kenya because it is popular in Bungoma and locals respect its strong heritage.
  • He claims President Kenyatta implored him not to join the party.
  • He says he told the President that he didn't want to repeat the 2017 mistake when he vied on a Jubilee ticket against the wishes of the people, resulting in a humiliating defeat.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka now says he and President Uhuru Kenyatta are still good friends despite his decision to support the Kenya Kwanza team in this year’s General Election.

Mr Lusaka said his decision to ditch the ruling Jubilee Party which is under the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance fold and join Ford Kenya was meant to secure his political future.

He spoke on a local radio station on Thursday and for the first time narrated how President Kenyatta implored him not to join Ford Kenya but Azimio la Umoja-affiliated parties instead.

"It is true the President really pleaded with me to either join Azimio or not run and maintain my position as Speaker of the Senate. But with a lot of respect, I told him that I have to listen to the voice on the ground," said Mr Lusaka, who is seeking to reclaim the Bungoma governor’s seat on a Ford Kenya ticket after ditching Jubilee.

He said he had told the President that a majority of elected MPs in Bungoma were allied to Deputy President William Ruto and it would be extremely hard to go against that tide.

"I told the President that I didn't want to go through what I went through in 2017 when I vied on a Jubilee ticket against the wishes of the people, resulting in my humiliating defeat," he said.

Mr Lusaka said he chose Ford Kenya because it is popular in Bungoma and locals respect its strong heritage.

"Every politics is local and though it was a very hard decision, I had to finally decide," he said about his political survival move.

Asked whether he had been partisan as a Senate Speaker by always defending the executive, Mr Lusaka said he was impartial as required of him by the law.

"I always worked as an impartial Speaker. The problem is that in every debate the loser will always want to blame the referee for the loss," he said.

He said it was not his role to defend the government or the opposition agenda, saying those were the roles of the majority and minority leaders.

He also defended the Senate's role, saying without it, devolution would die.

"Those saying the Senate has no role don't actually know what they are saying, because we are the fathers of devolution," he said.

He asked Bungoma residents to maintain peace and vote for him so that he could carry on with the projects he initiated when he was governor.

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