MPs plan to counter UDA in Mt Kenya by telling success stories


National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Jubilee MPs in Mt Kenya want to leverage on the government development record in the region to counter the growing influence of Deputy President William Ruto and his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party in the Central Kenya region.

A fight for supremacy is ongoing, amid open defections from legislators allied to Jubilee Party to UDA, the latest being Laikipia East MP Mohamed Amin and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who is flirting with the idea.

But the Jubilee loyalists in the region are not planning to give an easy fight and have crafted their own strategy to reclaim the ground.

The legislators have singled out multi-billion shilling projects in the region’s 10 counties whose successful implementation could hold the key to reigniting the waning popularity of Jubilee Party.

The leaders say the completion of the projects will not only be a win for the party but for themselves too.

In a meeting last Thursday in Nairobi, a section of about Mt Kenya MPs complained that different organs of the party had been undertaking development projects without the involvement of the political wing, a move that had greatly hurt the party’s popularity on the ground.

Sources inside the meeting told The Standard the meeting was concerned that they did not make adequate noise on what the government had done in the region.

The meeting underscored the tension between elected members of the party and people employed by the Executive to discharge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s mandate.

The MPs now want to take a more central role in the government’s development agenda of the region. “Everywhere we go, our voters are telling us they can see projects but the party lacks the voice on ground,” said National Assembly Majority Leader and Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya.

Those present in the meeting included Director of Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Kinoti Gatobu, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, Kiambu Town MP June Njomo and Mwea MP Kabinga Wathayu.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Mr Ngunjiri said going forward they would synchronise the development projects messaging with the respective Jubilee politicians in areas they are situated.

“We need a representation in every tour of these projects. We must lay claim to them as the work of the Jubilee Party. That is how we will make the party to have an edge over others in the region,” said the Nyeri Town MP.

Mr Gatobu’s presence in the meeting was to appraise the MPs with the major projects in each of the constituencies in the region.

The MPs questioned why the projects had not translated to political capital for the party. 

Mwea MP Kabinga Wathayu said it was wrong that technocrats in Ministries and the PDU were rolling the projects in exclusion of MPs. “Why has it taken four years to start championing these projects? By not including politicians, yet they are the organ that carry the messages to the masses, you do harm to the party and the government,” he said. Wambugu supported the idea.

They protested that technocrats in ministries were rolling out projects without elected leaders, a move that has not helped the party gain support, especially in Mt Kenya region, where the popularity of the party has greatly waned.

Kimunya said the fight against UDA in the region must also focus on what the region lost because UDA refused to support BBI.

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