Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has resolved to support Urbanus Mutunga Muthama Ngengele as its candidate for Machakos Senatorial by-election slated for March 18, 2021.
In a tweet on Thursday afternoon after meeting leaders from the region led by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party chairman Johnson Muthama at his Karen home, the DP stated that other candidates, who were eyeing the seat, had ceded their aspirations to back Ngengele for the race.
It’s now clear that Ngengele will fly the Ruto linked party’s flag in the race to succeed Senator Boniface Kabaka who passed on in December last year.
“Grateful to witness the partnership forged by the Machakos Senate by-election hopefuls in favour of Urbanus Mutunga Muthama Ngengele, a hustler from the county. Our gratitude to them for their audacity and leadership to cede their aspirations and back Ngengele for the race, ” the DP tweeted.
Grateful to witness the partnership forged by the Machakos Senate by-election hopefuls in favour of Urbanus Mutunga Muthama Ngengele, a hustler from the county. Our gratitude to them for their audacity and leadership to cede their aspirations and back Ngengele for the race. pic.twitter.com/j4gzorz13o
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) January 14, 2021
The race has attracted a number of candidates with Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party endorsing Johnson Muthama’s estranged wife Agnes Kavindu for the mini-poll.
Wiper’s move, according to insiders, is aimed at taming Johnson Muthama’s influence in the region even as 2022 succession politics gain momentum.
Kavindu contested Machakos Women Rep seat in the 2017 polls and garnered 96,000 votes on a Jubilee ticket.
Also eyeing the seat is former cabinet minister Mutua Katuku who is running on a Maendeleo Chap Chap party ticket.
Yesterday, Jubilee party pulled out of the Machakos by-election citing the corporation agreement with the Musyoka party that previously held the seat.
The party also said it won’t participate in Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary by-elections slated for March 4, 2021.
“It is the decision of the Jubilee party that given the bigger picture of bringing this country together through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) avenue ceding ground to the National Super Alliance (NASA) parties is essential to ensuring that we do not open unnecessary arenas for conflicts with our very able partners in the BBI, ” Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said referring to by-elections occasioned by death of lawmakers.
This is not the first time Jubilee is bowing out of by-elections despite protest from Ruto’s Tanga Tanga allies.
Last year, the party withdrew from Msambweni by-election citing the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
ODM, however, lost the seat to Independent candidate Feisal Bader in the by-election held on December 15, 2020.