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Jubilee faces dilemma in Kiambaa

NATIONAL
By Moses Nyamori | May 2nd 2021
The late Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Jubilee Party is facing a major political dilemma after three members of the Koinange family declared interest in Kiambaa parliamentary seat.

June Koinange, the widow to the late MP Paul Koinange, Lenah Koinange, daughter of former Cabinet Minister Mbiyu Koinange, and her niece Damaris Wambui have declared interest in the seat.

The ruling party has traditionally backed relatives of deceased politicians in by-elections occasioned by death, at least going by past mini-polls.

In Garissa, Jubilee backed Abdulkadir Mohamed Haji following the demise of his father Yusuf Haji while in Juja, Susan Njeri Waititu, the widow of Francis Munyua alias Wakapee, will fly the Jubilee Party flag for the by-elections slated for May 18. 

The party also sponsored Lucy Ng'endo Chomba, the widow of the late Huruma Ward MCA Peter Chomba.

Yesterday, Jubilee closed applications for those seeking to run on the party ticket even as Secretary-General Raphael Tuju played down the perceived dilemma.

Mr Tuju said that the party will conduct nominations to pick the popular candidate to represent the constituency for the remaining one year.

“I don’t think we will have any problem because what we will do is a credible nomination process. There are so many people interested in the party ticket including some of the family members,” he said.

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“Today (Sunday) is our last day of receiving the applications and we want to assure all the aspirants that we will do a credible process in identifying the right candidate,” said Tuju.

“Our interest is the electorate, whom do they want. We have no bias and emotions attached to the process,” he added.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has set July 15 as the date for the Kiambaa by-election.

June, who unsuccessfully contested for Kiambu Woman Rep in 2013 and 2017, said she was prevailed upon by the people and opinion leaders to run.

She is banking on grassroots networks and involvement in various projects to support locals to clinch the Jubilee ticket.

“There have been many discussions in Kiambaa that have brought together voters as well as thought and opinion leaders. The people have agreed that they need a strong personality to complete projects started and initiated by the late Hon. Paul Koinange’’ said June.

She said voters should be allowed to pick the best candidate without them being labelled as members of the Koinange family.

“People should not look at us as the Koinange family. There is also no need to convince or prevail upon others to drop their bid. Our family is big and those who see themselves as leaders should be allowed to run. Let the people decide at the ballot,” she explained.

The family is said to have settled on Lenah to vie for the seat on the Jubilee Party ticket.

Leonard Karuga, the family spokesperson, said that at least 10 members of the family had shown interest in the parliamentary race but agreed to back Lenah.

But June said her declaration for the seat came late as she was still mourning her late husband, adding that the decision to vie was triggered by “pressure from family members, Kiambaa residents, voters pressure, national agenda, and prayerful considerations.”

 

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