Why Ekwe Ethuro was rejected by Uhuru's team

Ekwe came a distance third with two votes, and later Lusaka was elected with 42 votes

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto moved to tell the Jubilee legislators to overwhelmingly vote for immediate former Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka for the Speaker post.

The former Turkana Central MP may have fallen short of allegiance to the party or even party leadership, prompting his dumping. He is understood to have a questionable loyalty.

Critics argue that during campaigns for the run up to the August 8 General Election, Mr Ethuro is said to have been very reluctant to campaign for Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection. Turkana, Raila Odinga’s ODM floored Uhuru’s Jubilee party. Raila got 71,326 votes against Uhuru’s 59,239 votes.

Despite his ability to demonstrate his neutrality in the house, analysts argue that he may not have fitted in the very ’competitive political environment in the modern senate.’

Another theory could be that the Jubilee led party might have opted to just ‘change the strategy’ in the next five years.  Others analysts argue that Mr Ethuro may have ‘failed’ to push Jubilee’s agenda in the Senate with vigor.

The Standard reported on Friday that the former Speaker was a ‘fence sitter’ and was missing in some instances to push the agenda for both DP Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“His refusal to support Jubilee in his Turkana backyard, where the Opposition carried the day, caused party mandarins to conclude he was a National Super Alliance (NASA) sympathiser,” said Patu Naikumi, a political science lecturer at Maasai Mara University.

Mr Naikumiu argued that unlike his National Assembly colleague, Justin Muturi, whose support from Jubilee was never in doubt, Ethuro was a fence sitter during the campaigns, allowing the Opposition to take full control of Turkana.

“He was missing in action when he was needed most. He even indicated that he would not take sides. That has cost him dearly,” said Naikumi.

Unanimous decision

After a day-long debate that was characterized by tension and name calling, the Government’s side carried the day, but not Ethuro’s popularity within Jubilee’s inner circles.

“He did not behave like somebody who knew where his support came from. His cosy relationship with the Opposition was his main undoing,” said Agina.

Another incident that cast Ethuro in bad light with Jubilee was when the Opposition heckled Uhuru last year, as he addressed a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly. While Mr Muturi took a hard stance and sent hecklers MPs out, Ethuro appeared reluctant to do so.

“He seemed against it but did it after being prodded. That and other incidents led to him being branded as an Opposition sympathiser,” said Agina.

Others feel Jubilee was hell-bent on rewarding Lusaka, who led the party brigade in Bungoma County, a traditional Opposition stronghold, and helped Uhuru get more votes than expected.

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