Jubilee MPs troop to State House, meet Ruto and Rigathi

Jubilee MPs troop to State House

Lawmakers allied to former Head of State Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party met with his rival President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at State House on Wednesday, the second meeting in a month, as the Kenya Kwanza administration seeks to woo them to work with the government.

Jubilee leaders who met the duo were led by Azimio Senate Deputy Minority Leader Fatuma Dullo, nominated MP Sabina Chege, MPs David Kiaraho (Ol Kalou), Irene Njoki (Bahati), Zachary Kwenya (Kinangop), Shadrack Mwiti (South Imenti), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Amos Mwago (Starehe), Dan Karitho (Igembe Central), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West) and Joseph Githuku (Lamu), Omar Shurie (Balambala), Adan Keynan (Eldas) and John Waluke (Sirisia).

According to a brief statement released by State House afterwards, the MPs had pledged to work with the government to advance its development agenda. 

The President said it was inevitable for leaders to work together, noting that "the people who elected you are the same people who elected us".

"You have a right to make choices as Kenya is a democratic country. You are now our members and we will treat you as such," the President told the Jubilee MPs. 

Charm offensive

President William Ruto with Nyanza ODM leaders at State House on February 7, 2023.

For the last two days, Dr Ruto and Mr Gachagua have been on a charm offensive of Azimio-affiliated legislators.

Yesterday, Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda led a team of ODM legislators comprising Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Caroli Omondi (Suba-South), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Walter Owino (Awendo) and Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o (Langata) met with Dr Ruto at State House.

After the meeting, the Raila Odinga-led ODM party released a statement criticizing the meeting, saying it had not been sanctioned. 

"Since the victory of our party leader Raila Odinga was stolen and the will of the people subverted after the August 9, 2022 General Election, some leaders have elected to undermine the leadership of the party and chosen to go against the will of the people who elected them to positions they hold," ODM said in press release signed by the party’s Director of Communication Philip Etale.

The Kenya Kwanza administration is consolidating support to ensure its Bills and regulations including Housing Fund, Water Purchasing Agreements and others have a smooth sailing in Parliament.

To this end, Dr Ruto is meeting with Azimio-affiliated MPs before legislators resume from recess next week.

Meanwhile, Mr Odinga convened an Azimio Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting on Wednesday to deliberate how to keep the Kenya Kwanza government in check.

The Nation understands that the meeting will also be used to rein in Azimio legislators and discuss how to handle President Ruto’s agenda as Parliament resumes on Tuesday next week, as well as come up with a mechanism to block Kenya Kwanza from continuing to raid Mr Odinga’s allies.