MPs: Uhuru in race to the end

Mutava Musyimi (centre) addresses journalists after a TNA meeting in Nairobi on December 6th, 2012. The meeting resolved that Uhuru Kenyatta is the party's flag-bearer for the presidential ticket. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI

Some 40 MPs allied to the The National Alliance (TNA) have accused unnamed “forces” of spreading the “rumour” that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was planning to drop out of the presidential race.

The MPs dismissed the reports that Mr Kenyatta was ready to step-down in favour of United Democratic Forum (UDF) presidential aspirants Musalia Mudavadi.

The MPs, who were addressing the media after a Parliamentary Group meeting at the Boulevard Hotel, asked Mr Kenyatta and United Republican Party (URP) leader William Ruto to assure their supporters that they were still on a joint ticket.

“We note with deep concern that the agreement stating clearly that there will be a nomination between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Mudavadi, there are a lot of rumours circulating that Uhuru is to step down. We dismiss this notion and categorically state that our candidate is Uhuru,” Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi said on behalf of the group.

Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki and nominated MP Rachel Shebesh threatened to mobilise their supporters out of the “Jubilee coalition” if Mr Kenyatta stepped down.

They added that Mr Kenyatta cannot make such a decision without consulting with the party and its supporters.

“If we are not given a chance to have Mr Kenyatta on the ballot through such deals that are being claimed, then the people of Nithi would rather vote for ODM,” Mr Mbiuki said.

Mr Musyimi also said that they expect a “free and fair” nomination process between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Mudavadi, adding that anything short of this will lead them to abandoning the coalition.
“We know that there are some forces trying to scuttle this alliance and we are not going to entertain their blackmail, intimidation or threats,” assistant minister Kabando wa Kabando said.

Nominated MP Amina Abdallah added that there were already reports that their supporters were not keen on continuing to register as voters over the “uncertainty of Mr Kenyatta being on the ballot.”

The TNA-URP-UDF agreement signed on Tuesday evening states that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Mudavadi are to fight it out for the coalition’s presidential ticket by December 18.

The agreement however does not indicate how this nomination process will be conducted.

The TNA MPs also expressed outrage with the inclusion on Kanu in the deal, though the former ruling party has a separate deal with UDF.

They said that they were seeing a situation where some people are trying to “revive” Kanu.

“We are not going to allow this backdoor entry of Kanu. We left Kanu a long time ago and we are not ready to go back,” Mr Kabando said.