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Looming showdown in Azimio as Jirongo leads team in defying Raila

Kakamega governor candidate Cyrus Jirongo has led a section of leaders from the Azimio coalition party in defying a directive to step down

Kakamega Governor candidate Cyrus Jirongo campaigning on June 25, 2022

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga is staring at a rebellion after several Azimio bigwigs led by United Democratic Forum (UDP) party leader Cyrus Jirongo vowed not to shelve their bids.

Jirongo who was addressing his supporters in Kakamega on June 25 made it clear that he will not drop out of the Kakamega gubernatorial race as requested by Odinga.

The UDF party leader asserted that he will not sit back and watch Odinga to push aspirants contesting for various seats on Azimio affiliate party tickets to drop their bids.

A tough-talking Jirongo maintained that while all Azimio parties are supporting the Raila-Karua ticket, the parties should be given the space to square it out for the other elective seats.

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"Mtu akija hapa na propaganda awaambie Jirongo amekaa na fulani na wameskizana nini, hiyo ni uoga. Mimi Raila hawezi niambia niwachane na Chama yangu ya UDP ati anataka ODM, ODM iende Nyanza sisi tuko na vyama vyetu. Tunapatia yeye kura moja ya urais na sitaki anisaidie huku, watu wake wa ODM wakae Nyanza, atuheshimu huku," Jirongo slammed.

He was responding to the recent decision by the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Council to adopt a rationalization plan that would see constituent parties agree and field one candidate to curb sibling rivalry and see the outfit capture as many seats as possible.

To actualize this, reports indicate that Azimio will conduct opinion polls to establish the most popular candidate for the various elective slot and rally other aspirants behind the popular candidate.

The plan has seen many aspirants protest and maintain that they will not shelve their bids.

Among those who have defied the calls is Tharaka Nithi County Narc-Kenya gubernatorial candidate Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia who rubbished attempts to have him shelve his ambition in favour of his Jubilee Party counterpart Erastus Njoka.

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“I am not dropping my ambitions for the county chief position, because I am the one to better the lives of Tharaka Nithi County residents,” said Dr Kibunjia.

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