Jubilee springs into action to secure under-threat Kericho Senate seat
27 January 2016, 11:41
Narok - The move by other political parties to throw their weight behind Kanu's candidate Paul Sang in the Kericho Senatorial by-election has jolted Jubilee Alliance Party into action.
Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader, Musalia Mudavadi over the weekend announced that he would back the independence party flag-bearer in the March 7 by-election against Jubilee Alliance Party(JAP) candidate, Aaron Cheruiyot.
Bomet Governor, Isaac Ruto who is also the leader of Mashinani Development of Kenya (MDPK) has also endorsed the former Minister in the race that is turning out to be a fierce political battle between Deputy President William Ruto and the Moi family represented by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
On Monday evening, Kalenjin professionals led by former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei, and young political leaders led by URP National Youth Congress President Gideon Keter, held a meeting at a Nairobi hotel where they laid strategies to ensure JAP wins the seat.
Sources who attended the meeting and spoke to News24 Tuesday stated that both President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, who were represented by the former CS, expect nothing short of victory in the upcoming by-election .
The Kericho seat fell vacant following the elevation of former Senator Charles Keter to the Cabinet. Keter, a close ally of Deputy President Ruto is the Energy Cabinet Secretary.
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"Koskei made it clear that the Jubilee Coalition must retain the seat. He emphasized that the JAP candidate must not only win the seat, but also do so with a wide margin so as to boost confidence of the party members," said the source.
Among the issues discussed during the strategic meeting that lasted over five hours was ways of reaching out to voters in the sub-counties who feel left out of the Jubilee government.
News24 established that it was agreed that the use of social media will be intensified to woo undecided voters and also sell the name of the 29-year-old JAP candidate.
At the same time, it was unanimously agreed that the use of age as a campaign tool for the Jubilee team should be dropped. Professionals from the County also agreed to drum up support for Cheruiyot and prevail on their relatives to also do so.
"Campaigning on the platform of a cross-generational change having in mind that we have a youthful candidate may cost us some votes as the elderly may feel left out. Our flag-bearer must base his campaign on real issues," Koskei reportedly said.
Parliamentary aspirants aligned to Jubilee Raymond Cheruiyot (Belgut) and Gideon Misoi (Kuresoi South) were present at the meeting, which was also attended by a number of professionals from Kericho County.
Reached for comment, Gideon Keter who is the URP Youth leader confirmed that the meeting indeed took place and youth league leaders from all Jubilee affiliated parties attended.
"Apart from Kericho we also discussed on how Jubilee will best win the Malindi parliamentary seat," said Keter.
"We agreed as youth leaders from the coalition that we will camp at Kericho and Malindi starting from tomorrow to drum up support for our candidates," he added.
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