Jubilee leaders decry use of violence during Kibra poll

A section of Jubilee Party Members of Parliament have criticised the use of violence to intimidate voters in the November 7 Kibra by-election.

They said the strategy was archaic, and countered the spirit of Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga.

They said the Handshake was meant to cultivate friendship, unity and harmony in the country, and address repeated violence during and after elections.

They spoke on Saturday in Gilgil, Nakuru County, in the company of Deputy President William Ruto.

The leaders were Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, MPs Martha Wangari (Gilgil), Samuel Gachobe (Subukia), Jonah Mburu (Lari), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Kimani Ichungwa’ (Kikuyu), Robert Gichimu (Gichugu) and Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango).

“Every election has a winner and a loser. We cannot accept violence to determine the outcome of a political contest,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

The Governor called on the security agencies to be diligent in discharging their mandate to ensure the country remains stable.

Ms Kihika wondered why Kibra witnessed violence at a time when the country was said to have undergone a political rebirth early last year via the Handshake.

“We were asked to embrace the Handshake with a promise that it would cool political heat in the country. But what we saw in Kibra is madness,” said Ms Kihika.

She said having witnessed the political violence, it would be perilous to leave the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) project in the hands of Mr Odinga.

“If he could not handle his supporters who attacked Jubilee followers, then how can we trust him with the BBI report? We would reject it unanimously,” argued the Nakuru Senator.

Ms Kihika said Kenya cannot be run like a failed state, and those who engineered the instability in the Kibra mini-poll must be held to account.

Mathira MP said Jubilee had chosen the path of peace in the race instead of employing dirty tricks.

“It is not that we had run short of goons to send to Kibra to counter our opponents. But that is not our fashion of politics; we are after unity and transformation of Kenya,” said Mr Gachagua.

He said there “is no way BBI would go through if Mr Odinga is its face”, adding that the politics of bedroom which Mr Odinga had started would come to haunt him.

On his part, Mr Nyoro claimed said ODM believed in the use violence to intimidate people who do not agree with its kind of politics.
“ODM is not a political party; it is a conglomeration of goons,” said the Kiharu MP.

While supporting the call for those who perpetrated the Kibra violence to be brought to book, Mr Mburu, Mr Osoro and Mr Gachobe asked Kenyans to choose the path that would make their lives better.

“Resist the path of violence and intimidation; that will be of no value to Kenyans,” explained Mr Osoro.

Meanwhile, Dr Ruto said the Government was committed to transforming the country through the implementation of the Big Four agenda and the Vision 2030.

He asked Kenyans to accept to be led by political outfits with vision and manifesto rather than those guided by “goons, criminal gangs and violence”.

“ODM cannot compete with Jubilee on development track-record platform. That is why they opted to use outdated tactics,” he said.

The Deputy President challenged ODM to renounce the politics that leans towards violence, intimidation and mayhem and instead embrace the development-focussed one.