President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party loss in the Kiambaa by-election has triggered a fierce blame game within the ruling party.
The Jubilee party’s top bosses have alleged that bureaucrats from the Office of the President hijacked the campaign strategy and cash meant for the Kiambaa by-election which eventually led to a narrow loss for the party.
Reports emerged that President Kenyatta’s civil service advisers took over the campaigns behind the scenes and bullied party campaign managers.
A senior official who sought for anonymity claimed that the party officials were sidelined in the management of the ruling party’s election affairs adding that they are infuriated by the unfolding events.
“It is easy to have the blame on party officials but we are relegated to the periphery as some people ran what should be our mandate,” the official said.
“People at the OP (Office of the President) should restrict themselves to the issuance of IDs, provision of relief food and such like functions,” the official said.
Yesterday, Joseph Mathai, the Jubilee regional coordinator for Kiambu and Murang’a counties, recounted how senior civil servants, whom he decided not to name, at the Office of the President kicked out party officials from the Kiambaa campaign.
Mr. Mathai who is a former TNA party’s Executive Director, said that the senior civil servants in the office of the President literally took over leaving party officials as mere spectators.
“You can imagine that being the guy in charge of that region, I was never involved in that campaign so when somebody points a finger at me I think they should be checked,” Mathai stated.
He also alleged that the same bureaucrats bungled the Juja parliamentary by-election in which little known Gatundu South Member of Parliament Mosses Kuria’s People Empowerment Party (PEP) beat Jubilee in mid-May.
“We blame it (the twin loses) on the people who went there and excluded the Secretary-General and his experienced directors who had come from the merged 12 political parties. Our track record is simple, if anybody wants to know how capable we are, we delivered 2013 and the much-contested election of 2017,” he said.
“They should look at the electoral calendar, if you want to get involved in politics and you are a civil servant, there is a date for you to resign then you come and join us. We are not going to have pseudo civil servants, pseudo politicians interfering with electoral processes. Our role was reduced to prayers,” Mathai said.
Jubilee, it emerged, picked Njama after party intelligence reports identified him as the most popular and who would deliver the much needed by-election victory.
In hindsight, party bosses claim Njama had all along been a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto and in February hosted Ruto in Kiambaa against the wishes of powerful opinion leaders in the party.
Senior and influential bureaucrats, on account of the reports, approached Njama who was already eyeing the UDA ticket to switch to Jubilee.
On Friday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced United Democratic Alliance candidate Njuguna Wanjiku the winner.
Wanjiku garnered 21,773 to beat Jubilee’s Kariri Njama who got 21,263 votes in Kenyatta’s turf.