Poor choice of candidates, succession politics, poor campaigning tactics, and misuse of security agencies are some of the major factors that saw the ruling party lose in all the three by-elections, analysts have said.
The ruling party Jubilee was on Tuesday, May 18, floored by William Ruto’s UDA and Raila Odinga’s ODM party in all the three by-elections that were held in the counties of Kisii, Kiambu and Nyandarua.
Whereas ODM party won the Bonchari by-election, Ruto’s newly formed UDA scooped the Juja Parliamentary seat and the hotly contested Rurii ward mini-polls.
For instance, Pavel Oimeke, the man at the center of Ksh 200,000 bribery claim won the Bonchari parliamentary seat with 8, 049 votes against Jubilee’s Zebedeo Opore who got 7, 279.
In Juja the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced George Koimburi as the Member of Parliament elect after he garnered 12, 159 votes beating Jubilee’s Susan Waititu who scooped 5,746.
In the Rurii ward by-election, Jubilee was shown dust once again after UDA candidate Francis Muraya out shown Peter Thinji of the Jubilee party.
Despite fielding candidates in all the three mini polls, Uhuru’s outfit came out empty handed.
A section of leader from Uhuru’s camp as well as political annalists have since linked the losses to a number of factors.
Some of the factors they say include, handing nomination certificates to weak candidates, local succession politics and the ongoing divisions within the ruling outfit.
In Juja, Jubilee handed the nomination to Susan Njeri, the widow of former area MP Francis Waititu instead of Geroge Koimburi.
Koimburi, a former strong ally to President Uhuru Kenyatta had contested for the seat in the last two General Election emerging the first runner-up.
While acknowledging that the party suffered a major blow, Jubilee party deputy secretary-general Joshua Kutuny and Nyeri town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu attributed the loss in Juja by-election to mismanagement of primaries, local succession politics.
“Our team lost this battle. We made mistakes in Juja at various of these by-elections,”
“This is the second time this has happened. Our rivals take advantage of these mistakes to our detriment,” Ngunjiri told People Daily Newspaper.
The loss in Nyandarua’s Rurii Ward to Ruto’s UDA was too blamed on local succession politics.
According to analysts, Jubilee’s defeat was a protest vote against Nyandarua governor Francis Kimemia who had handpicked Jubilee candidate during primaries.
“Rurii by election is a wake-up call to Jubilee. The party can not send governor Kimemia to make more promises to Rurii people yet he has not fulfilled the old promises he made to them,” Simon Kanyingi who ran against Kimemia in 2017 said.
However, Jubilee grassroot leaders in Kisii County have blamed the Jubilee loss on the police who on Thursday night raided Kisii governor James Ongwae’s residence.
The men in blue uniform stormed Ongwae’s residence who was having tea with Senator Sam Ongeri and women rep Janet Ongera. This is believed to have scared away voters.