4,000 Jubilee delegates to endorse Raila at NDC – The Standard


President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses delegates at the Bomas of Kenya during the Jubilee Party NDC. [Charles Kimani, DPPS]

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses delegates at the Bomas of Kenya during the Jubilee Party NDC. [Charles Kimani, DPPS]
Nearly 4,000 Jubilee delegates are expected to attend a political jamboree where President Uhuru Kenyatta will formally endorse ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid. Uhuru will lead the ruling Jubilee Party in declaring support for Raila in a National Delegates Convention (NDC) planned for February 25 and 26.

This is happening at a time some politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto – especially from Mt Kenya – are expected to defect to Jubilee during the event.
Yesterday, Jubilee National Management Committee (NMC) and Parliamentary leadership convened to finalise on the list of invited guests.

The outfit plans to invite Raila and other friendly parties, including the One Kenya Alliance that brings together Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Cyrus Jirongo of United Democratic Party and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua.

“What we agreed on as far as the NDC is concerned are operational issues on who comes for the convention and how many delegates from each county,” said Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju.

“We are dealing with about 4,000 delegates but we are also cognizant of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 guidelines,” said Tuju.
The top party organ will meet again next week Tuesday to approve list of invited guests. Tuju hinted that some of the MPs who have been backing Ruto’s UDA were likely to jump ship as political realignment takes shape. “Some of those who have been declaring allegiance elsewhere are also planning to come back. You saw Wangui Ngirichi (Kirinyaga Woman Rep) at State House and there are a few more expected to come back,” he disclosed.
Ngirichi severed links with Ruto after Governor Anne Waiguru, her rival in the governor race, defected to UDA. Strategists around Raila’s presidential bid are working to have parties under the Azimio La Umoja movement hold NDCs around the same time.
The grand plan is to have the ODM leader attend all the meetings for endorsement before the delegates and supporters troop to Nyayo Stadium – where ODM will be conducting its NDC – for a grand rally.
Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe on Monday disclosed that discussions were on to have a joint rally after the planned NDCs to unveil Raila and the nascent coalition. “Normally, like when we did the last NDC in 2017, the boss (Uhuru) attended other NDCs by partner parties. We expect similar scenario in this case. Other parties will also be doing their NDC around that time,” said Mr Murathe.

Jubilee Coalition Joint Parliamentary Group Secretary and Eldas MP Adan Keynan said Uhuru, as party leader, had members’ blessings to negotiate for their best interests, as he plans his State House exit. 
“We have internally consulted among party organs on who best fits the presidential bill. Once members sanction this at the NDC, the party leader, as our torch bearer, will have the members’ authority to negotiate on our behalf and secure our place in the next government,” he said.
“There is nothing wrong with the President joining all other party leaders from the Azimio la Umoja fraternity to unveil Odinga as our candidate if party members instruct him at the NDC,” added Mr Keynan.
ODM deputy party leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the parties needed to join Azimio la Umoja to meet set electoral timelines.
The recently enacted Political Parties law requires political outfits planning to form a coalition party to submit their agreements to the Registrar of Political Parties by April 9.
Oparanya said in the event the parties don’t manage to hold a joint rally as suggested they will schedule a major meeting at Kasarani for official signing of the agreement.
“The discussion a round a joint rally has not been finalised because we are trying to rush in meeting some of the set timelines in formation of coalition,” he said.
The governor said Kalonzo would be one of the key guests they planned to invite. “We are inviting Kalonzo for the meeting and all other friendly parties except Kenya Kwanza,” said Oparanya

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