KIBAKI DENIES JIRONGO'S 'PROJECTS'

Written By Michael Maunda on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | 12:46 PM


PRESIDENT Kibaki yesterday denied being behind the formation of several political parties as part of a political strategy to weaken certain presidential candidates.

He is upset by the allegations of Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo that State House is funding six political parties as "projects" to confuse voters in the 2013 general elections. “We refer to news reports attributed to Hon. Cyrus Jirongo who has alleged that State House is sponsoring various political parties in the country. Hon Jirongo’s remarks are careless and irresponsible. We will not give any credence to allegations from a politician whose political and business history is very well known to the Kenyan public,” State House said yesterday in a terse response sent through the Presidential Press Service.

Jirongo immediately hit back with a Buddhist aphorism. "Only three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth," said Jirongo. Jirongo's implication is that State House is working to support Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the expense of Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the 2013 election.

The parties that have been branded as 'projects' of State House include the United Republican Party of William Ruto; the Party of Action of Raphael Tuju; the RBK of former Education PS Prof James ole Kiyiapi; The National Alliance of Uhuru Kenyatta; and the United Democratic Front of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

Over the last two weeks Jirongo has claimed that these parties were suspect because of when they were created, who defected to them and how they were registered. He compared it to the late Congolese President Mobutu who created more than 20 parties to confuse the electorate and perpetuate himself in power for 32 years until 1997.

The PPS yesterday asked Jirongo to conduct an issue-based campaign instead of dragging the Kibaki administration into his woes. “As a presidential candidate who seeks to occupy State House, he should be telling Kenyans what he will do to transform their lives not yapping 'State House, State House' every time he opens his mouth,” the PPS statement declared.

President Kibaki’s private secretary Prof Nick Wanjohi yesterday also released a personal statement exonerating himself from allegations of participating in the creation of political parties. “Various reports have been published lately in sections of the media linking my office of Private Secretary to His Excellency the President to political parties. As a serving member of the civil service, I remain apolitical," he said. "I am currently fully engaged in serving His Excellency and I am not a member of any political party. Media should desist from making these deliberate and constant references associating me with political parties,” Wanjohi said.

Wanjohi had reportedly been involved in setting up UDF as a vehicle for Uhuru's presidential bid. When Uhuru opted for TNA, UDF was taken over by Mudavadi. Jirongo was initially working with URP but fell out with Ruto over claims of a lack of internal democracy and interference in the party by state operatives. “Let us not allow certain people to decide for us. I know there are those who are bent on doing exactly that,” Jirongo said last weekend during the rebranding of New Ford Kenya and a rally in Busia.

He claimed that Eldoret North MP William Ruto was not interested in the presidency but was being used as a ‘project’ to further certain interests. “Kwa nini Ruto anarukaruka hapa na pale? (Why is Ruto jumping from here to there),” Jirongo asked The Star yesterday. “This cannot be politics. It is quite obvious that there are projects created by State House unless you do not live in Kenya. It is real,” Jirongo reiterated on phone.

But Ruto has denied the claims. “He does not play in my league. I cannot respond,” the Eldoret North MP said yesterday. The two men have been close political friends since the Y2K ’92 campaigns. When Ruto adopted URP in February, Jirongo left his party KADDU to seek the URP presidential ticket. For a brief period, they campaigned together before cracks began to emerge. “Ask him what problem he has experienced in URP. He seems to know better than those of us who are in the party,” commented a senior URP official about Jirongo.

"Wakati nimeongea mambo ya project, kuna watu wamekasirika. Hii muchanga haiwezi kuogopa kuchukua mwili wa Jirongo. Lakini hata nikiondoka musikubali kupangwa (People are angry at me for exposing the project business. This soil cannot reject my body. When I am gone do not accept to be part of the project," stated Jirongo at the Busia rally.

When Mudavadi took over UDF in April, his former party ODM branded him a traitor and a State House “project”. Mudavadi has insisting that he is a project of the Kenyan people, not State House "Jirongo's problem is being consumed with flights of fancy. Once jilted, he relapses into hateful rage," said Mudavadi's spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi yesterday. There has been talk of an Uhuru-Ruto-Mudavadi pact before 2013 to counter Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Uhuru and Ruto belong to the G7 alliance along with Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Prof Kiyiapi has laughed off suggestions that he was part of the ‘projects’ stating that he was a project of God and not man. “Who is this big guy who must win while the others can only be spoilers? This is a campaign among equals and I refuse to allow any politician to trivialize our agenda because I can’t stoop to other people, men or women,” the RBK presidential aspirant said. Tuju also insisted, “I am Kenyan project who will be voted for by all Kenyans."

Source: The Star