Aspirants eyeing the Jubilee Party nomination ticket ahead of the 2017 elections have expressed fears of skewed primaries.
More than 300 aspirants for various seats met in Nakuru yesterday and urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to assure them of a level playing field during the nominations.
They urged the party leadership to involve them in deciding the nomination fees and all party activities before and after the primaries.
Peter Rutto, who eyes the Kuresoi South parliamentary seat, said aspirants were ready to work with the Jubilee leadership.
“As aspirants we do not want a situation where we are left out in making key decisions that will affect us. We need to be involved,” he said.
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Rutto urged fellow aspirants to respect the team appointed to spearhead the presidential campaign, saying they were set on common goal.
George Kioko, representing persons with disability, said the party should consider them when setting the nomination fees.
“We are not asking for freebies, all we need is for the party to lower fees to an amount we can afford,” said Kioko.
The party’s presidential campaign coordinator in the Central Rift region, Susan Kihika, assured aspirants for various seats in the region of a level playing field in the JP primaries.
“The party will not make nominations a business where people with no money will not afford the nomination fee. I will insist on reasonable fees for all, including persons with disability,” Ms Kihika said.
She reiterated that members of the presidential campaign team who are eyeing elective seats would have to fight it out in the nominations.
“There are no preferred candidates in Jubilee. Even I will have to fight it out in the nomination and if I lose I will support the winner,” she said.
MPs Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi South), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Joseph Kiuna (Njoro), Jacob Macharia (Molo), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), John Kihagi (Naivasha), Nelson Geichuhie (Subukia), Nakuru Woman Representative Mary Mbugua and Nominated Senator Liz Chelule attended the meeting.
Also present were governor aspirant Lee Kinyanjui and veteran politicians Njenga Mungai and Koigi Wamwere, both seeking the Nakuru Senate seat.
Conspicuously absent at yesterday’s meeting was Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri who questioned Kihika’s ability to lead the campaigns, dismissing it as “the joke of the year”.
Mr Gaichuhie, who spoke on behalf of elected leaders, said they support the presidential campaign team and would rally behind those picked to spearhead the campaigns. “We should not waste time fighting those in the campaign team, rather we should support them because we are working towards the same goal,” the MP said.
Koigi said he was fully in Jubilee and supports President Kenyatta’s re-election, but the party primaries must be free and fair.