The ruling Jubilee party will not participate in scheduled Matungu, Kabuchai and Machakos by-elections, Secretary-General Raphael Tuju announced on Wednesday.
Speaking to members of the press at Jubilee Headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, Tuju said the decision is in the interest of the bigger picture of the good working relationship with National Super Alliance (NASA) affiliate parties that previously held the seats.
“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 NASA parties is essential to ensuring that we do not open unnecessary arenas for conflicts with our very able partners in the BBI, ” Tuju said referring to by-elections occasioned by death of lawmakers.
The Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary seats were held by Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) and Moses Wetangula’s Ford Kenya. The seats fell vacant following the demise of Justus Murunga and James Mukwe Lusweti respectively.
The Machakos Senator seat was previously held by Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party. It was declared vacant following the death of Senator Boniface Kabaka on December 11, 2020.
As for Nairobi seat of governor, the SG said, the party is on standby as the matter plays out in courts following the suspension of the by-election that had been scheduled for February 18, 2021, by the High Court.
Tuju issued certificates to the following candidates for scheduled Member of County Assembly by-elections Virginia Wamaitha Gicanga (Hell’s Gate Ward), Francis Njoroge Njogu (London) and Lucy Ng’endo Njoroge (Huruma).
This is not the first time Jubilee is bowing out of by-elections despite protest from Deputy President William 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.
The DP’s allies recently launched the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), formerly Party of Development and Reform (PDR).
The party named Evans Kakai (Kabuchai), Alex Lanya (Matungu) and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru (Nairobi) as its candidate for the scheduled by-elections.
Kabuchai and Matungu by-elections will be held on March 4, 2021.