Aspirants contending for the Juja MP’s Jubilee ticket now want the ruling party not to impose a candidate on residents and instead allow them to make independent choices.
For the ruling party to clinch the position that was left vacant following the demise of Francis Munyua alias Wakapee, the candidates insist that the party should allow voters to elect their own candidate without interference.
They fear that imposition of a candidate by party officials will not only deny Juja residents their say but will also result in production of a weak ticket holder who will eventually be defeated during the by-election slated for May 18.
According to Naftaly Rugara Muiga, an electrical and electronic lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) who is vying for the ruling party ticket, Jubilee stands a higher chance of winning the by-elections owing to the huge support it enjoys at the constituency but will be slapped with a terrible defeat should cartels interfere with the party primaries.
Addressing journalists at a hotel in Juja town, Rugara who is also the Universities Academics Staff Union (UASU) national organizing secretary decried that a section of Jubilee party election officials is scheming to give a direct ticket to one of the aspiring candidates, a move that will lower people’s confidence in the party.
Rugara who vowed to steer security, infrastructure, water and health projects for the benefits of all residents called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure that the party conducts free and fair primaries.
“The president has the good will to ensure that the party conducts free and fair primaries but some cartels in the party want otherwise. Imposing a candidate for Juja residents will weaken the party’s performance in the by-election and this is what we don’t want. Being President Uhuru’s backyard, we want fairness from the onset,” he said.
The university don took issue with Kiambu town MP Jude Njomo whom he accused of spearheading the scheme to give a direct ticket to one of the candidates calling on Kiambu leaders to keep off Juja by-elections and instead allow electorates to make independent choices.
George Koimburi, another contender who emerged number two in 2017 elections has also urged the ruling party not to impose a candidate and instead allow Juja residents to make informed decisions on who will take over as their MP.
He told the party election officials to block attempts to rig the primaries saying that a mistake to give a weak candidate the ticket will see Jubilee lose the seat.
“We have great confidence that the party will allow the will of the people to prevail. Juja is a Jubilee zone and is the gate to president Uhuru’s ancestral home in Gatundu. Giving a weak candidate this ticket will see the party suffer embarrassing defeat in the by-elections,” he said.
So far, several other hopefuls have expressed interest in the party ticket among them Wakapee’s widow Susan Njeri Waititu and who other candidates fear could be handed a direct ticket.
Others are Joseph Ng’ang’a, the former Kiambu Chief Executive Committee Member for education, Zack Nderitu and Moses Mwenda.
The Jubilee Party candidates have less than a week to conduct campaigns ahead of the primaries that are slated for Saturday next week (March 20).