Damning revelations of how MPs and governors were lured with millions of shillings to decamp from the opposition to the ruling Jubilee Party have emerged as the opposition Cord coalition prepares to take disciplinary action against the sellouts. A list of MPs and governors who changed colours has surfaced from Jubilee headquarters, showing how much each MP and governor received as incentive.
Jubilee sources divulged William Ruto was tasked to ensure as many opposition MPs and governors as possible joined Jubilee, and he personally negotiated with them individually on how much one would receive before decamping.
Apart from cash, the DP had met the MPs and promised them plum government jobs in the event they consequently lose in the next polls. Ruto guaranteed all MPs and governors who defected to Jubilee state jobs if Jubilee forms the next government, which he assured them it would.
The bargaining power was based on one’s personal political appeal, ethnic and region, as well as ability to retain the seat on Jubilee ticket.
Those in Coast region and Western are said to have negotiated for higher amounts citing that the two regions are opposition strongholds and that they stood higher risk of rejection by voters compared to their counterparts from other Jubilee Party friendly regions like Nairobi, Eastern and Rift Valley regions.
MPs from Coast and Western argued that they needed more cash to sell Jubilee Party in the opposition strongholds. Already, a number of ODM MPs from the two regions are facing open rebellion with some voters promising to teach them political lesson.
Claims that the MPs who defected were paid handsomely to denounce the parties which sponsored them in 2013 first emerged when three MPs from ODM alleged that they were offered money to join the Jubilee Party coalition but they declined.
The mouthy Kilifi woman representative Aisha Jumwa claimed that she had been approached by a Jubilee Party politician but declined an offer of a staggering Sh20 million to denounce and defect from ODM.
She said at a public rally: “Juzi walinifuata na kaoffer ka Sh20 million nikawaambia my dear hiyo ni pesa yangu ya outing…outing. Kama walikaa huko wakafikiria labda Aisha Jumwa atatishika na pesa ati oh”. (Recently, they came to me with an offer of Sh20 million…I told them I use that to go out. They are mistaken if they thought that Aisha Jumwa can be bought…)
Also said to have been approached by Jubilee Party are Luanda MP Chris Omulele and his Emuhaya counterpart Wilbur Otichillo who also indicated that senior Jubilee Party officials offered them “good money’’ to denounce the Orange Party but they declined.
The only ODM MP from Luo Nyanza who defected James Rege is said to be feeling the political heat from the electorate on the ground. He is alleged to have told his allies that he had intelligence report that some top ODM officials had confided in him that even if he wins the Karachuonyo nominations, he was not going to be given the ticket since Raila was not comfortable with him.
Knowing that he is unlikely to successfully defend his seat, his stakes were low and was only given a mere Sh1 million. Also in the list of those who received low facilitation include Mathare MP Steven Kariuki, nominated MP Isaac Mwaura, Cyprian Kubai of Igembe Central, Mburi Apuri, Tigania East and Samuel Arama, Nakuru Town West.
It has also come to surface that the Kisii MPs who had initially indicated that they were going to join the Jubilee Party celebrations at Kasarani and to be publicly paraded chickened out and did not attend.
Sources say a number of Kisii MPs had demanded huge amounts of money before defection which Jubilee Party could not afford to pay them. Already, word doing rounds is that the Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi, the only Kisii ODM elected leader to attend the Kasarani party is now facing a political storm the MPs in the area aligned to ODM.
It was Maangi who brokered the deal of the Abagusii Unity Talks which culminated to the aborted defection of the MP to Jubilee Party. Maangi is alleged to have received financial support from Ruto to lobby the Kisii MPs. However, allegations are rife that the money has not trickled down to the MPs, hence their boycott to attend the Kasarani meeting.
Sources say the Kisii MPs were asking for a minimum of Sh10 million facilitation fee before they could attend the Kasarani launch. It was against this background to get the facilitation that they kept off the event leaving Charles Nyachae as the community’s representative after pushing Maangi to the periphery.
In fact, it is said that a number of MPs from the region are not happy that after Maangi initiated the talks, Nyachae is now the beneficiary and is said to be Uhuru’s pointman and not Maangi whom Ruto has been working with since 2014.
Among those who boycotted the Kasarani meeting include Senator Chris Obure, Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, Nyamira senator Okongo Mongare and East African Legislative Assembly MP Joseph Kiangoi among others.
The list comes at a time when ODM has written to the MPs summoning them to face the ODM disciplinary committee this week. Last week, ODM MPs wrote to the party through lawyer Koiko Kilukumi denying that they had defected but had only shown interest in working with Jubilee Party.
ODM sources say although the MPs have been summoned by the disciplinary committee to show cause why they should not be expelled from the party, the party has no intention of expelling them but just to show them that the party has a right and authority to take disciplinary measures against them.
Initially, ODM had planned to revoke the nomination of Mwaura and make new appointment but the plan was shelved after Mwaura is said to have called Raila and explained to him that he was moving out of ODM to vie for the Ruiru parliamentary seat which is in Jubilee Party stronghold. He is also said to have convinced Raila that unless he is guaranteed nomination for the second time in 2017, he had only one option, to join Jubilee Party.
Former secretary general Ababu Namwamba is also said to be facing disciplinary action after he joined Labour Party of Kenya of Julia Ojiambo who was named the party leader. Sources say the ODM so-called disciplinary chairman Fred Athuok has a strong case against Ababu who has gone ahead to take up leadership position in another party before officially quitting ODM. Recently, Ababu was quoted saying he is still in Cord and that his new party will be an affiliate of Cord.
ODM fears expelling the members since by doing so, it would lead to a mini poll where Jubilee Party could use the power of money to overwhelmingly whip Cord at the polls. The fear in ODM is that if the expulsion is to result in by-elections, then it will make the opposition divert the attention to the mini polls as Jubilee focuses in 2017.
Again, there is fear that in case of a mini poll and Jubilee Party manages to clinch some of the seats, it will portray ODM as a weak party and Jubilee Party as a party to beat as that would imply it has made inroads n the opposition stronghold.
ODM is said to have taken the example of Maangi who according to the constitution if expelled, then even Governor James Ongwae must also quit office since the two were elected on the same ticket. It is against such fears that Maangi knows he is untouchable as Ongwae might not be ready for a by-election.
In areas like Coast region, ODM fears that Jubilee Party could flex its wallet muscle of money and dish out goodies to the electorate and in an event that ODM is trounced in a by-election, it would slow the party ahead of next year’s elections.
In Ukambani, MPs who defected are feeling the heat moreso those who have nothing to show in form of government projects on ground, so much so that they have not visited their constituencies since the Kasarani meeting. It is only Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka and his Yatta counterpart Francis Mwangangi who have been doing their duties at home as usual with Yatta voters welcoming their man as a hero for being ‘bought’ by Jubilee Party at a cost of over Sh19billion which is the worth of public projects Jubilee Party has initiated in his constituency in the last four years. The amount, they say, is nearly equal to that the county of Machakos received in the same duration.