Kanini Kega Explains ODM's Role in Bahati Nomination Row

  • A collage of Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Bahati.jpg (3
    A collage of Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Kevin Kioko alias Bahati.
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • The ruling Jubilee Party says a standing agreement with Azimio La Umoja affiliate parties was at the centre of the controversy surrounding the nomination of musician Kevin Kioko alias Bahati as its parliamentary aspirant for Mathare.

    Speaking during an interview on Inooro TV on Wednesday, April 27, Jubilee Party Director of Elections, Kanini Kega, stated that ODM contacted the ruling party enquiring as to why it had breached the agreement by fielding a candidate in its (ODM's) turf.

    The lawmaker revealed that Jubilee, ODM and Wiper had agreed to zone constituencies in Nairobi based on how the three parties faired in the 2017 General Election, further admitting to breaking the agreement.

    Kieni MP Kanini Kega speaking to Nyeri residents on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
    Kieni MP Kanini Kega speaking to Nyeri residents on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
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    Kanini Kega

    "ODM reached out to us asking why we decided to field a candidate in a constituency that was settled on as an ODM stronghold.  They stated they already have a candidate for Mathare, incumbent Tom Oluoch, who will be defending his seat, so we had to pull out of the race," he stated.

    Kega explained that in the agreement, ODM and Jubilee would field candidates in 8 out of 17 constituencies. Notably, no party was allowed to front candidates areas perceived as the partners' strongholds.

    Embakasi South was exclusively left for the Wiper's Musili Mawathe, who is seeking to vie for a second term.

    Kega also weighed in on the high number of artists and comedians joining elective politics, stating that just because individuals have amassed a following did not necessarily mean that they were fit to become national leaders.

    The Kieni MP called on voters from Mt Kenya region to turn up in large numbers and vote in candidates running on Jubilee tickets. He explained that Jubilee needed the numbers in Parliament to be politically safe in the next government. 

    "Let the people of Mount Kenya come out and vote in their numbers so that they have many representatives. There is no guarantee that whoever will be elected in Parliament will have the majority numbers and this will push him to look for the others in a handshake," he reiterated.

    Kega added that politics was dynamic and Mount Kenya region should not rule out the possibility of Deputy President, William Ruto, and former Premier, Raila Odinga, working together after the August 9 election.

    "Raila and Ruto have worked together in the past and there is a possibility that they may have a handshake after the election and that may lock out the Mountain. We need to have at least 80 MPs in Parliament to be safe," the MP added.

    His sentiments during the interview are a reverberation of claims he made in Nyeri on April 10, when he stated that Jubilee did not completely trust the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential aspirant despite supporting his bid.

    "Those who are vying for the Presidency, we don't have our friend (someone to secure interests). We have also toured the country extensively and we know Raila will become President on August 9. The question is this, when Raila becomes President, where will we be?" Kega asked the people.

    However, the Kieni MP clarified the remarks noting that political opponents blew them out of proportion and had  pounced on the opportunity to cause discord in the newly formed coalition party.

    Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party council members addressing the media led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at KICC on April 21, 2022.
    Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party council members addressing the media led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at KICC on April 21, 2022.
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