Jubilee SG Kioni accuses police of favouring DP Ruto's camp

Jubilee Party secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni

Jubilee Party secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Jubilee secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni has accused security officers of favouring UDA in the campaigns by offering more protection to that team than to Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga’s campaigners.

He demanded fairness in security personnel allocations.

“We understand that this is so because our security agents have been interacting with UDA members for the last 10 years while we were busy working. But this is not a good reason… they should be biased,” he said.

He said the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition is confident it has made inroads in the Mt Kenya region as it outlined its strategy to win the August 9 polls.

Mr Kioni said Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza was now in a panic trying to out-do Azimio’s gains.

Addressing journalists in Nyeri, Kioni said the Ruto team was camping in areas where the Azimio, led by presidential contender Mr Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua, had campaigned and gained a following.

“The reception they are getting is not what they were getting in the last six years,” he said.

He was upbeat that Mr Odinga’s support in Mt Kenya was growing.

He said Dr Ruto will find it hard to keep the votes Jubilee received in 2013 and 2017.

“For Ruto to win, he has to get all the votes he got in Mt Kenya when he was with Uhuru … as we talk, the Mt Kenya votes are not in Ruto’s basket. The people should read the signs of the times,” Mr Kioni said.

Mr Kioni and Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu claimed some Ruto-allied MPs had stopped following him in his campaigns to focus on recapturing their seats after “the ground changed”.

The leaders said Mr Odinga was gaining ground in Mt Kenya after he named his running mate from the region.

The Odinga campaign brigade is holding door-to-door meetings and face-to-face campaigns as it seeks to win locals’ hearts.

“Ours is to tell the truth as Ruto has lied to people for the last five years. Kenyans are now waking up leading to Raila’s rise in opinion polls. Kenyans have decamped,” Mr Kioni said.

Mr Odinga, Mr Wambugu said, is the best to resolve the problems facing the Mt Kenya region.

Sell our candidate

“We are empowering locals with messages. We are now able to campaign freely, sell our candidate, manifesto and talk to people one by one,” he said.

The leaders said Kenyans should expect a major shift in support for Mr Odinga by July 15 “as the political wave shows where the country will be heading”.

They claimed the Ruto team was preparing to challenge the August election outcome in court “but we will ensure we win with a huge margin to avoid unnecessary challenge”.

“Following the rise of Raila’s curve … United Democratic Alliance (UDA) is preparing to challenge Raila in court. They know they have lost the 2022 polls. That is why they wrote to the DPP,” Mr Kioni said.

He added: “Our rise is gradual and we know what to do and when to do it.”

Mr Kioni claimed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was forced to clear aspirants with questionable academic credentials following court rulings.

“It is amazing how the IEBC does not want to know whether you went to school. Currently you only need to walk into their offices with an identification card or passport and you are cleared,” he said.

Mr Kioni denied claims that Jubilee has been financially supporting some of its candidates in their campaigns.

He said party policy requires all members to fund their own campaigns.

Jubilee candidates vying for elective posts in Nyeri County have also been accused of shying away from campaigning for Mr Odinga.

But Mr Wambugu denied the claims, saying the party’s candidates are campaigning based on their manifestos.

“We are selling our presidential candidate but this time, compared to 2017, there is a distinction. This is because in 2017 there were people who got elected because of President Uhuru Kenyatta but immediately they got into office they started condemning him,” he said.