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Jubilee loyalists warn on growing NASA influence in Meru

By Wainaina Ndung'u | Published Wed, June 14th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 13th 2017 at 20:39 GMT +3
Mt Kenya Caucus chairman Linford Mutembei addresses the press in February. He is dissatisfied with the way some top Jubilee leaders are handling youths in the county. [Photo by Peter Muthomi, Standard]

A planned visit by Opposition leader Raila Odinga has triggered anxiety among Jubilee Party loyalists

Party allies are warning that they could lose more voters to the Opposition if measures are not taken urgently to counter Raila’s frequent forays in the region.

The allies said Jubilee’s top command needed to institute a strong offensive to counter the resurgence of support for the National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate, who is set to visit the region today.

Raila is expected to visit Chuka, Maua and Meru towns.

Linford Mutembei, chairman of the Mt Kenya Youth Caucus, warned the party not to underrate the Opposition leader’s visits.

“The President and Deputy President are being misled that all is well in the area when it clearly is not,” he said.

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The youth leader blamed the political supremacy wars between Uhuru’s allies - Governor Peter Munya and Senator Kiraitu Murungi - for NASA’s growing popularity in the area and urged the party to exclude both from the presidential campaign team.

His sentiments were echoed by Igembe Central parliamentary candidate James Mithika, who said residents felt increasingly abandoned by Jubilee.

“Igembe region particularly feels it has been terribly let down by Jubilee in recent appointments, including the nomination of former Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala),” said Mr Mithika.

He said Raila had demonstrated more inclusiveness by picking Japeth Moroko from a little-known family in Igembe Central for the same position.

Mithika warned that Raila was likely to capitalise on the government’s failure to intervention in the challenges facing the miraa sector. Both leaders called on Uhuru and Ruto to visit Meru urgently to mobilise support.

But Imenti North MP Rahim Dawood, who is defending his seat on a Jubilee ticket, downplayed Raila’s visit, saying the region had benefited immensely from the current government.

“Right now we are sitting on Sh5 billion in ongoing infrastructure projects including the Ndurumo-Giaki-Miomponi road, the Meru town bypass and Mate Road,” he said.