Choose pension or the ballot, Jubilee MPs tell Raila


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ruto+1705+bSix Jubilee MPs on Sunday said ODM leader Raila Odinga should forego his pension if he still intends to be on the ballot.

Deputy President William Ruto also said he would back President Kenyatta for re-election and would continue to root for Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) as the President’s re-election vehicle.

Mr Odinga, who was in Nairobi to launch a savings and credit society for Gor Mahia FC just two days after launching an SMS service as part of his presidential campaign, steered clear of politics, only urging wananchi to adopt a culture of saving and borrowing to improve their welfare.

“Today, we are launching something that is truly Kenyan and reflects the inherent Kenyan dream — a Kenya that gives its citizens an opportunity to realise their dreams.

“It is my sincere hope that the young people will take up this opportunity and join the Gor Mahia Sacco so as to be able to draw optimal benefits that will empower them socially and economically,” Mr Odinga said.


On Thursday night, President Kenyatta declined to sign into law a Bill that would have handed Mr Odinga and former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka retirement benefits on grounds that the two leaders have remained active in politics.

The following day, Mr Odinga said he was not ready to kneel before the Head of State to be given his rightful retirement benefits.

The Bill would have granted Mr Odinga a lumpsum of Sh21.6 million, and a monthly stipend of Sh960,000 for the rest of his life while Mr Musyoka would have earned Sh19.8 million lumpsum and a further Sh880,000 monthly stipend.

The Nairobi MPs told Mr Odinga to follow the example of retired presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki who have quit elective politics.

Speaking at St Francis Catholic Church in Kasarani, MPs Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), John Njoroge (Kasarani), Maina Kamanda (Starehe), Benson Mutura Kangara (Makadara), James Gakuya (Embakasi North) and John Ndirangu Kariuki (Embakasi Central) told other presidential hopefuls in Cord not to expect Mr Odinga to cede the coalition ticket to them.

Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Wiper’s Mr Musyoka are expected to square it out with Mr Odinga for the Cord ticket ahead of the next General Election.

Mr Odinga has said he would support whoever wins the nominations. All three have expressed interest in being the coalition’s flagbearer.

“If the opposition thinks that Mr Odinga will leave the seat to them they are deceiving themselves. He will never give them a chance,” said Mr Kamanda.


And in Lari, Kiambu, Mr Ruto said JAP would be a formidable political force by 2017 and would guarantee an easy win.

Speaking at the Lari Technical Institute and at a fundraiser at AIC Kirenga in Kiambu County, Mr Ruto dismissed the Cord leaders’ unending criticism of the Jubilee administration and expressed optimism that JAP would carry the day come 2017.

“In 2017, there are no negotiations, we will vote for Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.

Mr Ruto said he had shelved his presidential ambitions in 2013 to support Mr Kenyatta as agreed in their pre-election deal. In turn, Mr Kenyatta promised to support Mr Ruto’s bid in 2022. Local leaders who accompanied the Deputy President promised to back his bid when the time comes.

“In 2013, we vied in a coalition pack of many parties. Now we want all these parties to come together for the sake of unity of this country. There are people who have been thriving politically by exercising divisive and tribal politics but the writing is on the wall for them,” Mr Ruto said.


But Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi have opposed the move to merge all the parties, a move which appears to have sparked a rift in the region.

Lari MP Mburu Kahangara, who had accompanied Mr Ruto, said the allegations of corruption linked to the Deputy President was a trick by his political opponents who want to scuttle his bid to succeed President Kenyatta.

His views were echoed by the six Jubilee MPs in Nairobi, who claimed that the tenders for the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital were brokered by an affiliate of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o when he was the Public Health minister.

Mr Gakuya, who sits in the Health Committee of the National Assembly, said the Sh28 billion figure was misleading given that the tenders for the new hospital were not yet out.

Last week, Mr Ruto said he had stopped the Sh17 billion tender to rehabilitate the hospital in Eldoret, saying the cost was too high.

Reported by Eric Wainaina, Zaddock Angira and Otiato Guguyu

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