We dare you to quit, defectors told

Opposition leaders have dared Mathare MP Stephen Kariuki to resign and seek fresh mandate on Jubilee Party after announcing his intention to decamp.

ODM leaders, led by deputy party leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Nairobi counterpart Evans Kidero, criticised Kariuki over his recent move to ditch the party for the newly -launched JP. Kariuki, who was elected on an ODM ticket, was among the many ODM rebel leaders who publicly announced they will defend their seats on the new party ticket.

Others included James Rege (Karachuonyo), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), John Waluke (Sirisia), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi North) and Protus Akujah (Loima). President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will seek re-election on the JP ticket in the August 2017 General Election.

At the ODM rally in Huruma estate, Nairobi, yesterday, speakers condemned the defections and challenged them to seek fresh mandate if they are sure of their re-election. Kidero said Kariuki’s move is a great betrayal of the trust the party entrusted on him to the extent of prevailing upon lawyer Antony Oluoch to step down for him during the party’s primaries.

The governor also revealed ODM financed Kariuki’s campaign during the August 2014 by-election against TNA’s George Wanjohi whose election was nullified after a successful petition by Kariuki. “If Kariuki is a principled man, can he return the Sh20 million we gave him for campaign.

I convinced Oluoch to step down for Kariuki, we campaigned for him and now he has let us down,” said Kidero. “We respected K1 (as Kariuki is popularly known) and voted for him. He has vomited on our shoes,” added former Nairobi mayor George Aladwa. Kidero and Joho also told off the ruling Jubilee coalition over the Nairobi gubernatorial seat which they vowed will be retained by ODM in the next year’s polls.

Kidero who is expected to face strong challenge from Jubilee also sensationally claimed that former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru had approached him with a demand of Sh100 million so as to shelve her 2017 gubernatorial ambitions. Joho announced he will be a presidential candidate in 2022 and challenged Deputy President William Ruto to prepare for a political duel.

“I tell Ruto, 2022 will be a battle royale. You will face me and I will hand you a very painful defeat,” said Joho. The leaders were speaking yesterday at Huruma’s Masinde Muliro grounds in Mathare constituency after staging a road show across the city. Early in the day, ODM staged a long road show from Kawangware passing through Kibare and Lang’ata estates to the city.

The convoy then sneaked its way to Eastleigh from the town centre to Huruma where they addressed thousands of supporters. Joho said the opposition caravan will be heading to Eldoret town in two weeks time as part of rallies planned by the opposition party to celebrate its 10 years of existence.

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