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This was just a friendly match between present and future, says William Ruto

POLITICS
By Ndungu Gachane | July 17th 2021

Kiambaa MP elect Njuguna Wanjiku celebrates his win at Kiambaa road on July 16, 2021.[George Njunge,Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has termed the just concluded by-elections in Kiambaa and Muguga a friendly match between the present and the future.

Making reference to Jubilee Party and United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the DP said contrary to what many had billed as a do-or die-contest, this was an internal race.

“People think these by-elections were a contest between them verses others, or this group against the other. What happened there was a friendly match between the present party Jubilee and the future UDA,” said Ruto.

He sympathised with residents of Kiambaa Constituency and Muguga Ward, saying they went through a difficult test but emerged with flying colours, demonstrating that elections can and should always be peaceful.

The DP was speaking yesterday at the funeral service of Mzee Eliud Buku Munyori, father of his employee Munyori Buku in Ruru, Mathioya, Murang’a County.

He said the outcome of the two by-elections has also settled the issue of post-election violence, where losers declined to concede, and in an apparent reference to opposition leaders, said they can concede defeat even if it is a dismal margin.

“There is no problem there. It is a normal issue (election). We gave the people of Kiambaa and Muguga a difficult test to choose between the present and the future and being smart, they settled for a win-win,” Dr Ruto said.

He said the voters decided that they have business with the present and the future. “They decided to give Muguga ward the present and since they also have plans for the future, gave UDA, Kiambaa Constituency. These people have planned themselves well,” he said.

UDA's John Njuguna Wanjiku clinched the hotly contested Kiambaa parliamentary seat, garnering 21,773 votes, narrowly beating Jubilee Party's Kariri Njama who got 21,263 votes. In Muguga Ward, Jubilee’s Mung’ara Githinji won with 4,089 against UDA’s Peter Kamau with 4,062.

Ruto, who was accompanied by a number of legislators, including Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata and Kandara MP Alice Wahome, lashed out at their opponents who expected a loss.

The DP noted that the by-elections were peaceful. “The contests ended on a good note, they finished by addressing what the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) on electoral chaos was to do. The violence after elections cannot happen if each party concedes,” said Ruto.

“UDA candidate in Muguga Ward lost to Jubilee challenger with only 27 votes but he conceded. Likely, the Jubilee candidate in Kiambaa who lost to the UDA candidate with 510 votes also accepted the outcome and the matter is settled," he said.

He challenged the proponents of the BBI referendum birthed through the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga after the disputed 2017 presidential elections, to learn from the happenings in the two by-elections.

“They should learn from the lessons of the candidates in the two by-elections. You don’t have to reject the election outcome and even swear in yourself,” said the DP in an apparent reference to the mock swearing-in of Raila as the people's president at Uhuru Park on January 30, 2018.

 He, however, welcomed the opposition leaders to discuss the bottom-up economic approach.

“They have been saved lately. I welcome them as the reggae and other stories stopped,” said Ruto.

Kang'ata drummed up support for the hustler nation, saying the DP settled on a graduate who was jobless to fly the UDA flag in Kiambaa, and has won.

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