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Jeremiah Kioni: I’m ready to be last man standing in Jubilee

by kenya-tribune

The recent declaration by some Jubilee Party lawmakers to support and work closely with President William Ruto’s administration has led to more cracks in the former ruling party.

Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni has been driving the party’s agenda within the opposition Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition that is led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, raising questions on whether he is the last man standing in the party.  

Mr Kanini Kega, the party’s director of elections, recently led Jubilee MPs in meeting President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at State House and Harambee Annex in Nairobi, where they pledged their allegiance to the government. Mr Kega, the former Kieni MP, is currently MP at the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

However, speaking to Nation.Africa on Tuesday, Mr Kioni said the party, which is led by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, has a lot of members and will not be derailed by the leaders warming up to Kenya Kwanza.

“Whether I’m left the last man standing or not, that makes no difference. Jubilee has more members than they think,” Mr Kioni, who is also the former Ndaragwa MP, said in a phone interview.

Mr Kioni said any member of the party is at liberty to leave, adding that such a move will not affect the party’s operations and resolve in supporting Azimio.

“Any person who feels like leaving Jubilee is free to do so. They will make no difference and will create no void in the party. We wish you well, but you should not leave with anger. No need to be annoyed,” he said. 

On January 20, Mr Gachagua met Jubilee MPs Sabina Chege (nominated), Kega (Eala), David Kiaraho (Ol Kalou), Irene Njoki (Bahati), Zachary Kwenya (Kinangop), Shadrack Mwiti (Imenti South), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Amos Mwago (Starehe), Dan Karitho (Igembe Central), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West) and Joseph Githuku (Lamu).

Kenya Kwanza

On January 23, the same team met Dr Ruto and Mr Gachagua at State House when Azimio leader Raila Odinga declared that the Kenya Kwanza government is “illegitimate” and that he does not recognise Dr Ruto as President. 

However, Mr Kioni is adamant that Jubilee is steadfast and will not join the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

“We will never join Kenya Kwanza but we will be joining Kenyans who are suffering under the yoke of dictatorship. There are those calling themselves sons of Mau Mau, but we are the real Mau Mau, not sons,” he said.

According to former Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, Mr Kioni is being misused by ODM and Wiper Party leaders to champion the claims by Mr Odinga that his presidential votes were stolen during the August 9 General Elections.

Mr Ngunjiri argues that Mr Kioni should be concentrating on consolidating ODM and Wiper strongholds against Dr Ruto ahead of the 2027 elections.

“Mr Kioni is being misused terribly by the ODM and Wiper leadership. The two need someone to sell the narrative that Raila’s votes were stolen in Mt Kenya, so as to keep the regions intact against the government,” Mr Ngunjiri told Nation.Africa on Tuesday.

He said Mr Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper need to front a person from Mt Kenya region who will spread that narrative at the grassroots.

“To sell this narrative genuinely and legitimately, you need someone from Mt Kenya to say it because essentially, it is our votes that were stolen,” Mr Ngunjiri said.

“Hopefully, Kioni will realise this sooner rather than later, and understand that this is not about 2022, but about consolidating ODM and Wiper traditional strongholds, against Ruto for 2027,” he added.

Reports indicated that some Jubilee Party officials who are uncomfortable with the leadership of Mr Kioni and Jubilee Vice-Chairperson David Murathe are plotting their removal.

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