Jeremiah Kioni dismisses claims of split in Azimio

Jeremiah Kioni

Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni (centre) addressing journalists after leading elections for party official in Tharaka-Nithi County on December 18, 2023.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru | Nation Media Group

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni has dismissed media reports that the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition is split over the National Dialogue Committee (Nadco) report.

Speaking during the election of Jubilee party officials in Tharaka-Nithi County, Mr Kioni said what is being interpreted as cracks in the coalition is just ideological differences and Kenya Kwanza has nothing to celebrate.

He said the Jubilee Party will remain united with other parties in the coalition for the purpose of “saving Kenyans from the bad leadership of President William Ruto by taking him home in 2027”.

He said Jubilee cannot support the Nadco report because it does not address the critical issue of high cost of living, which made the coalition members hold anti-government protests.

“Many Kenyans are sleeping hungry because of the high cost of basic commodities and we cannot support the Nadco report which does not address the grave issue of the high cost of living,” said Mr Kioni.

He added that thousands of Kenyans have lost jobs and are now suffering following the closure of many companies because of high taxes imposed by the Kenya Kwanza government.

Mr Kioni said contrary to Kenya Kwanza’s campaign promises of empowering the “hustlers”, President Ruto’s government has impoverished them more by even taxing agricultural produce.

According to Mr Kioni, the proposal in the Nadco report to increase the number of years for the term of senators to seven years was a plot by Dr Ruto to do the same for the office of the President, adding that only Kenyans can make such a decision through a referendum.

To strengthen the Jubilee party ahead of the 2027 elections, Mr Kioni said they have launched a campaign across Mt Kenya region and other counties where it has a following, especially targeting the youth.

He said the party is conducting elections from the grassroots to the national level to ensure that by 2027 it is strongly rooted to avoid the 2022 scenario where in some polling stations their votes were not well guarded, resulting in theft.

The official also claimed that Dr Ruto plans to split the Mt Kenya region into Mt Kenya West and Mt Kenya East ahead of the 2027 elections so that the region does vote as a bloc.

“Mt Kenya region will remain solid and those in the region who will not vie on Jubilee Party in 2027 will go home,” he said.

Newly elected Tharaka-Nithi County Jubilee Party chairperson Peninah Kambanja, who vied for the women rep position last year, said they will make sure that the party regains its 2017 election strength by recruiting members, especially the energetic youth. She noted that some people who vied on the Jubilee ticket in 2022 left the party to join the United Democratic Alliance hoping to get positions but were frustrated.

“I want to welcome back those who ran away from Jubilee after losing elections so that we can continue with the vision which we had for this country,” she said.