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UDA’s win in Kiagu inconsequential, says Tuju

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju says the party’s loss in the Kiagu by-election to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) does not reflect the ruling party’s popularity at the grassroot level.

Tuju says the party's talks with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) for a coalition are at an advanced stage.

This comes after Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi also declared his Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) is rooting for a formidable coalition ahead of the 2022 polls.

Although the Jubilee Party won the Mahoo ward by-election in Taita Taveta County, it also lost to UDA in the Kiagu by-election in Meru.

“By-elections are sometimes not the true window of what is happening. We’re talking in terms of the level of turnout, we are very delighted about Taita Taveta,” Tuju said.  

Another by-election loss for the ruling party in the Mt. Kenya region comes even as it tries to put its house in order.  

Tuju also said that the Jubilee Party is keen on the formation of a unity coalition with ODM and other parties.

“I know that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga are currently at the Coast so that should tell you something. There are consultations at a very high level as far as Jubilee and ODM is concerned,” he said.

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi of the newly formed DEP party has also hinted that his camp is fishing for a coalition partner.

“We are going to decide as a party on whether to support him (DP Ruto) or Raila Odinga on the basis of the interest of the party. We have said the party would like to have more resources coming in to the counties and we have seen it recently a little more to both Raila and Ruto,” said the governor.

“William Ruto has gone out to say he doesn’t want any coalitions. He wants people to join UDA. We don’t want to join UDA because we have been in Jubilee. Jubilee was a big ocean, we went there and drowned. We don’t want to go to UDA and drown there too. We want to remain in our boat.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta has in the past weeks shown clear indications that he backs Odinga’s 5th stab at the presidency.

"It is worth noting that during the Azimio la Umoja Convention at Kasarani, we had around five ministers from the Jubilee government who attended. So sometimes you don’t have to say everything by mouth; sometimes the body language can tell enough and if the body language does not tell you I don’t think you are a good observer of the political dynamics in this country,” Tuju stated.

With election fever kicking in early next month, this will be the beginning of realignments ahead of the 2022 showdown. 

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