It was on Friday, August 26, 2016 when nominated Member of Parliament for Special Interest Groups, Isaac Mwaura, officially ditched his sponsoring party, ODM, for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.
Media reports claimed Mwaura lambasted the ODM leadership, accusing it of superintending what he termed as the sinking of the party.
However, in a statement, Mwaura – who has expressed interest in running for Ruiru Parliamentary seat – denied the reports, saying he notified ODM Party Leader, Raila Odinga, of his decision to work closely with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“This is after extensive consultation with the people of Ruiru and as they say, all politics is local,” said Mwaura.
Well, it now emerges that Mwaura’s defection was given a nod by Raila, who “encouraged him to join Jubilee if he indeed wants to win Ruiru Parliamentary seat in 2017 General Election”.
“Before shifting camps Saturday, I went to Raila Odinga’s place and told him that the people of Ruiru have spoken; and respectfully, told him that I would want to run for MP in the next General Election on a Jubilee ticket.
“I told Hon. Raila: ‘Ruiru constituents vowed they are inclined toward Jubilee; and that I should not question their affiliation. 74 percent of voters in Ruiru are from the Kikuyu community and 26 percent are from other communities’.”
“Raila told me it is okay and that I have his blessings. The President himself asked me to join him and work with him. I received an invitation to attend Jubilee Party official launch. I received the invitation from the TNA convention; before that, from the Ford Kenya,” Mr Mwaura exclusively told eDaily.
When asked who he will campaign for between President Kenyatta and Raila – both of whom have expressed interest in running for President in 2017 – Mwaura said: “The people that I want to represent are supporters of Uhuru Kenyatta. You are asking me who I will campaign for? I have made my intentions very clear and political differences do not mean enmity.”
The response sounded a bit vague, and eDaily tweaked the question a bit to extract a more concrete response from him. However, Mr Mwaura responded coyly: “We have secret ballots and the key word is ‘secret’. I will not engage in discussing the merits and demerits of either Uhuru Kenyatta or Raila Odinga.”
Despite joining Jubilee Party, Mwaura says he still looks up to Raila Odinga as his political mentor.
“I remain eternally grateful that I have been nominated to Parliament by ODM. And I want to really mention my political mentors; Prof. Peter Anyang Nyong’o and Henry Kosgey, the former Chairman of ODM and Senator Janet Ong’era. I owe them a lot; in particular, Hon. Raila Odinga. He has stood by me in the 10 years that I have grown in ODM, 7 years before I became an MP; 2 years as an Advisor in Office of the Prime Minister, and now 4 years or so as a Nominated MP.”
Mr Mwaura advised those exiting their sponsoring parties for other political outfits to do so without burning bridges.
“People should know that when they have political differences, they should do it in a civil manner; and it is good to be respectful. When you look at politicians, there is no one who is perfect. Though, I choose to respect leaders.”
The nominated legislator has thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for integrating disadvantaged groups in national agenda and resources allocation.