SECTIONS

Wanjigi, now Safina life member, joins Ruto team

Jimi Wanjigi with DP William Ruto (right) at Bomas of Kenya during Safina Party's NDC. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Former ODM lifetime member Mr Jimi Wanjigi will be joining forces with Deputy President William Ruto under the Safina party for the August 9 election.

Safina party delegates yesterday endorsed Mr Wanjigi as its presidential candidate during the party’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) held at the Bomas of Kenya.

In the event graced by Deputy President Dr William Ruto, Mr Wanjigi and Safina party leader Mr Paul Muite said their decision to align with Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza came from a shared vision for the country.

“We will work together with Safina into the future because we share the same vision,” said Dr Ruto.

“Safina is aligned economically and socially with UDA because the vision UDA has for this country is identical to that of Safina as far as social-economic policies are concerned,” said Mr Muite.

Mr Wanjigi, who until recently wanted to launch his presidential bid while in ODM, switched camp to Safina after what looked like an intentional side-lining from the Orange party after he was denied entry into the party’s NDC.

Last week, Safina’s National Executive Council (NEC) settled on Mr Wanjigi - the new life member - as the presidential flag bearer as the party positions itself to battle it out with others in the General Election.

While accepting the nomination, Mr Wanjigi said his new role opens up opportunity for establishing a new order that will allow Kenyans to reap the fruits of a working government through economic revolution.

“Economic security is national security. The government is showing a rise in GDP but the jobs and income are not rising; 5.4 million people do not have jobs. This is courting a national, social disaster,” said Mr Wanjigi.

He blamed the government over rampant corruption and a “borrowing crisis that is crippling the economy” and which has mortgaged the country.

“The system is rigged and is broken. It is for the very few. There is no point in having a country with 1 per cent millionaires and 99 per cent poor people,” said Mr Wanjigi.

Safina Party flagbearer Jimi Wanjigi speaks at Bomas of Kenya, March 21, 2022. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Leaders present at the event included former Bomet Governor Mr Isaac Ruto, MPs Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Ms Cate Waruguru (Laikipia), Mr Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Mr Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and nominated Senator Mr Isaac Mwaura.

When Dr Ruto took to the podium, his message was that time has come for like-minded people who want to improve Kenyans’ economic situation to come together.

The DP accused his competitors of focusing on changing the Constitution to secure jobs for the political elite. He said his campaign was geared at ensuring small business owners have opportunity to run their businesses smoothly.

“There is competition between personalities and personality cults vis-à-vis the people and the institutions that facilitate the people to participate. This is a moment to create economic freedoms for all citizens,” stated Dr Ruto.

While drumming up support for Kenya Kwanza and its partnership with Safina party, Mr Gachagua said it was time Kenyans chose leaders other than elitists that had historically dominated the political scene.

Mr Mwaura spoke against the idea that only certain people can be Kenya’s president and encouraged other Kenyans to contest in the elections. He accused President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga of facilitating government to target and blackmail those who support Dr Ruto.

Safina party is the latest political outfit to strike a partnership deal with Dr Ruto as political formations take shape ahead of the General Elections.