Wajir leaders credit Ruto, contradict Jubilee and ODM on Wajir West by-election

Wajir leaders credit Ruto, contradict Jubilee and ODM on Wajir West by-election
Deputy President William Ruto holds a meeting with Wajir County leaders, Harambee Annex, Nairobi County. PHOTO| DPPS

A new war of words has erupted between supporters of the handshake — with Jubilee and ODM on one side, and Deputy President William Ruto on the other side.

This time, it is a tussle to prove who brokered the deal to have the ODM candidate in Wajir West, Prof. Mohamed Elmi, withdraw from the by-election race.

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohammed claim it was an agreement between the Jubilee top leadership and ODM that saw Mohamed Elmi withdraw.

“The party has arrived at this decision following consultations with the top leadership of the Jubilee party during which we agreed to reciprocate Jubilee’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Migori, Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections,” said Junet.

Addressing the press on Wednesday, Tuju said ODM’s withdrawal was a high level agreement, and anything other than that amounts to someone seeking bragging rights.

However, the DP’s side, backed by Wajir top leaders, insist it was the deputy president’s handiwork.

“This was done in further consultation with Jubilee Deputy Party Leader William Ruto, who is also the Deputy President. The decision had nothing to do with the ODM party or any of its functionaries, as some would allege,” said the Wajir leaders in a statement.

Last evening, DP Ruto hosted leaders from Wajir County accompanied by the two candidates where they announced Elmi’s defection to William Ruto’s camp hours after ODM’s withdrawal.

Pundits have viewed the move as one of Dr. Ruto’s cards to have a grip of the pastoralist vote in the north by ensuring he delivers the seat as his first assignment.

Mohamed Elmi, Abass Nonow of Agano Party and Ali Noor Abdi of Labour Party of Kenya, say that Elmi’s stepping down had absolutely nothing to do with ODM.

They have stated that what Tuju and ODM are trying to say amounts to conmanship or deceit which they as Wajir leaders they will not condone.

The Wajir West quarrel once again exposes the infighting inside Jubilee, just as was seen in the Embakasi South by-election.

In Embakasi South, Tuju and Sifuna backed ODM’s Irshad Sumra as the handshake candidate. But Sumra was floored by Wiper’s Julius Mawathe, who is said to have enjoyed the secret backing of the tanga tanga side of Jubilee, which is firmly behind DP Ruto.

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Story By Stephen Letoo
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