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Blow to Jubilee as leaders decamp to Kanu

By Josphat Thiong'o | February 22nd 2017
Defectors from various parties after being received by Senators Zipporah Kitony and John Lonyangapuo at Kanu head office in Nairobi. [Photo: Jonah Onyango/Standard]

The Jubilee Party Tuesday suffered another blow after some of its members defected to Kanu.

The members were led by Mandera county Kanu coordinator Hussein Mohammed.

West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo and Nominated Senator Zipporah Kittony led other party officials in receiving the defectors at the Kanu headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Ali Kulane Alio, a former member of the United Republican Party (URP), Elwark North MCA Mohamed Maalim, and Tana River chief officer Abdulahi Hassan were among the 12 defectors.

Others included Mr Uhuru Kibet (parliamentary aspirant for Bomet Central), Mr Ibrahim Issack (Takaba South MCA aspirant), Mr Abdi Kadir (Garissa county), and Mr Abbas Ibrahim Shabura (Elwak South MCA aspirant).

The defectors claimed that leading parties such as Jubilee and ODM were not regionally and ethnically balanced and that they had "created a lot of hatred among Kenyans" ahead of the August 8 General Election.

"CORD and Jubilee have already created a problem before we even hold elections. Kenyans are looking for a third party and that party is Kanu," said Mandera MCA Kulane.

Maalim from Tana River said the group's decision to decamp was fuelled by the failure of the Jubilee administration to initiate development in the region.

"There are those who have been saying that Kanu as a party is dead but they will be shocked because we will continue receiving more defectors. We welcome all those who wish to join our party," said Senator Kittony.

She announced that the party's recruitment and registration campaign had been extended to March 3, adding that Kanu would give an update on the number of defectors it had received.

Last year, Nominated Senator Paul Njoroge defected from the Jubilee Party to Kanu, which is led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

Former party

Njoroge cited lack of democracy and transparency in Jubilee as the reason for him return to his former party.

In 2015, URP lost key party officials and 300 supporters to Kanu.

The defectors claimed that Deputy President William Ruto was making decisions without consulting party supporters.

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