Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju has opened up, lifting the lid on some Jubilee party’s best kept secrets, the reservations the party had on Mike Sonko’s candidature for the Nairobi gubernatorial set the intrigues surrounding the party’s decision to support him.
Tuju spills the beans on what forced Jubilee party to support Sonko and the reservations it had towards him
Jubilee was cornered with tough choices to make with devastating consequences
In a candid interview that was published in The Standard on 15 December 2019, the party was not comfortable fielding Sonko for the seat but had to succumb to pressure from the public.
Sonko at the time was enjoying immense popularity with most Jubilee party supporters showing overwhelming support for Sonko, making him the right bet to dethrone ODM’s Evans Kidero who was also eyeing a second term.
"Sonko's candidature was a bit complicated. We tried our best to ensure that the choice of the choice we took was that of the people," Tuju clarified.
The overwhelming support and popularity made it impossible to express their reservations about Sonko’s perceived inability to handle Nairobi city county as doing so would have rubbed many the wrong way, hence Sonko received the backing of the party.
"The people were calling out for him. Would you want to blame the party or the people who elected him?" Tuju asked, shifting the blame from the Jubilee party.
He also revealed that Jubilee found itself with tough decisions to make on Sonko’s candidature due to the nature of the hotly-contested 2017 general elections.
As a result, the party could not afford to lose Sonko who was viewed as an asset with the opposition ready and willing to rope him in.
"Really what could we have done? If we rejected him, our opponents were waiting to snap him up," he asserted.
Fall-out with Igathe and State House
It is these intrigues that saw Sonko sweep to power with Polycarp Igathe as his deputy.
Sonko had told voters during a debate that he would take care of political affairs while Igathe would bring in his managerial experience in running affairs of Nairobi County.
However, a few months into office, Igathe resigned as he found it impossible to work with Sonko, leaving the county without a deputy governor.
Sonko’s arrest and subsequent arraignment in court has further complicated matters with bail terms direting that he should not set foot in his office.
Sonko would also accuse unnamed individuals ‘close to State House’ of interfering with the affairs of City Hall, creating a crisis.
He however, clarified that the said individuals might not be directly from State House but are part of a clique which opposed his campaign and created the perception that he couldn’t deliver if elected as the governor of Nairobi and were now sabotaging him.
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