Bitter exchanges in Azimio over Junet, Joho role in Raila election loss

President-Elect William Ruto welcomes the Movement for Democracy and Growth led by the Party leader David Ochieng.

President-Elect William Ruto welcomes the Movement for Democracy and Growth led by the Party leader David Ochieng (MP Ugenya) into the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Photo credit: DPPS

Anxiety over defections is sweeping across President-elect William Ruto’s and Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Raila Odinga’s camps.

Dr Ruto, whose victory is now in the hands of Supreme Court judges, has extended the political duel beyond the polls, with incessant raids on the former prime minister’s camp.

The move has been interpreted as a scheme by Dr Ruto to control Parliament and also cobble together a formidable team in readiness for a possible repeat election.

At the same time, in Azimio, a section of leaders are not sitting pretty with blame games reigning supreme over how the General Election was handled and specifically the deployment of agents, the treatment of party leaders loyal to Azimio and the strategy in the last days of the campaign and during the vote counting process.

Some lieutenants of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) boss are now claiming that Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho are to blame for the loss which befell Mr Odinga.

Bitter exchanges

The bitter exchanges in the Azimio camp came to the open on Twitter where Mr Odinga’s confidantes have been calling out certain leaders for continuing to lie to him when in reality, things are not okay.

Similar trouble faces Dr Ruto’s camp where founder members are uncomfortable with some newcomers in the team.

Certain leaders in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance have expressed fears that some of those joining them now want to reap where they did not sow. The President-elect has poached elected leaders under United Democratic Movement (UDM), one of the Azimio partner parties. UDM and Mandera senator-elect Ali Roba led a delegation of the party’s elected members to Dr Ruto’s Karen residence.

UDM won two governor seats, two senators, a woman representative, five National Assembly seats and a host of MCA positions. All have joined Kenya Kwanza. Former Makueni Governor and Muungano Party of Kenya leader Kivutha Kibwana as well as Ugenya MP David Ochieng’s Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) have also decamped to Kenya Kwanza. Prof Kibwana, who also vied for the senatorial seat but lost to Wiper’s Dan Maanzo, in an interview recently said he is joining Dr Ruto’s camp to work for Kenyans.

“Kenyans have made a decision that the next President is William Ruto. Going forward I am not in Azimio, I am in Kenya Kwanza solidly. There is a job to be done in our country and we need to go beyond the issue of I am of this party, this tribe, this gender, this faith and all that and get the job done,” said Prof Kibwana. The former Makueni governor rubbished claims that parties could be barred from joining other coalitions.

This, as the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu threw yet another spanner in the works, terming as null and void the post-poll agreements by UDM, Muungano, as well as those by former Machakos governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap and ex-Kilifi governor Amason Kingi’s Pamoja African Alliance, which have all decamped to Kenya Kwanza.

Ms Nderitu yesterday told the Nation that, from a legal point of view, all those who have ditched their coalitions cannot purport to have inked post-election agreements with other outfits if they have not followed the procedures for withdrawing from the previous one.

“A party cannot belong to more than one coalition and they have to deal with the first matter [withdrawing from the first agreement],” said Ms Nderitu.

Meanwhile, some leaders allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader told the Nation that, although they are not leaving anyone behind, that does not mean that they will be welcomed to occupy the space of pioneer members.

A senior member of Dr Ruto’s campaign secretariat confided to the Nation that those coming now will not be allowed to take over spaces of those who have fought for him since what has been described as ‘handshake humiliation’.

“They are coming at a time when the victory is home. Apart from development being rolled out in their areas, they will get a share of government posts based on their numbers. That does not mean they will take positions of individuals who have worked hard for the win,” said the source.