Uproar over Jubilee Party decision to pull out of mini-polls

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju. He announced they will not field a candidate in the by-election. [File, Standard]
An aspirant in the Embakasi South by-election and some MPs have protested the Jubilee Party's decision to pull out of the mini-polls.

Rashid Minyong’a, who planned to run on the ruling coalition ticket for the city parliamentary seat, yesterday said there was more than met the eye in Jubilee's actions.

The decision by the ruling party has jostled some MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto into saying the unity pact between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga should not be used to kill democracy. 

Mr Minyong’a has since moved to Kenya National Congress to face off with ODM’s Irshad Sumra and Julius Mawathe of Wiper Party.

SEE ALSO :Priest: Uhuru should retire

Mr Mawathe's win was nullified by the Supreme Court.

Minyong’a alluded to a wider political scheme in denying him the ticket. He said it could be because of his perceived closeness to Dr Ruto.

“Last Wednesday I had a meeting with Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju at the party’s headquarters and I told him they should consider giving me a direct ticket," said Minyong'a.

"But I was surprised when he told me he had received instructions from above that the party is not fielding a candidate because of the handshake.”

Mr Tuju said the decision not to have candidates in Ugenya and Embakasi South was to prevent a political confrontation between Jubilee and the Opposition.

SEE ALSO :Jubilee officials clarify on party poll

“People are free to speculate or spin a narrative why we are not fielding candidates. But it is the position of the party not to have a candidate. We have made it clear that we want to foster unity and avoid unnecessary political confrontations,” said Tuju.

He said the decision was arrived at after wide consultations within the ruling coalition.

“Why should we get into a contest that is going to polarise us? What do we gain by antagonising ODM and Wiper at a time we are enjoying their support in Parliament,” Tuju posed. 

Embakasi South by-electionJubilee PartyRashid Minyong’a