Just a few hours after departure of DP Ruto from a three day visit in Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties, Igembe North aspirant Justus Kagwima has defected to the Azimio la Umoja camp.
Citing intensive consultations with residents and advisors, Kagwima says DP Ruto’s UDA is a great hinderance to his dream to serve Igembe North residents.
“I understand that there have been unconfirmed rumors about me leaving UDA for another party. I couldn’t give an official statement because of the consultations that were underway. I cannot take you to a party that might hinder our dream to serve the great people of Igembe North Constituency,” reads part of his statement shared on Tuesday evening.
Kagwima will now be seeking to clinch the Igembe North seat on a PNU ticket, a party associated with Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
“After wide consultations, I have officially joined the Party of National Unity (PNU) under the stewardship of our able leader Hon Peter Gatirau Munya. I humbly request you to continue with the same support towards changing the narrative of Igembe north, with our new party.” says Eng. Kagwima.
“PNU is our very own party and in order to see a successful future Igembe and Meru at large, we should join hands and support our very own party and more so our own Laing’o Peter Munya in whom we see great future and potential not only to raise to higher echelons of power to this great Nation while impacting the society in a great way.” he says.
A section of Igembe North residents have termed Kagwima’s move a step towards victory in the forthcoming elections.
“I was silently unhappy with you being in UDA, but I kept my hopes alive that one day you’ll see the light. Welcome to the voice of reason side my brother,” says Gikunda Mati.
“We are ready to work with those who treasure us and value us not those who tolerate us.
Wherever you lead us, we’ll go Mheshimiwa. We’ve very great hopes in your leadership and the dream you carry for the people of INC,” says Benson Mutembei Nchamba.
Still, there are those who believe that Kagwima’s decision was only motivated by the fear to head to the UDA nominations against Mr. Taitumu, whom they consider a stronger candidate.
“You failed terribly my brother. It s always advisable to stand on firm grounds. But we don’t blame you, especially considering the UDA nominations would have thrown you out of the race early enough. All the best in Azimio,” says Martin Maincia.
Kagwima (popularly known as Wamataa) was a key organizer of DP Ruto’s Meru tour in November last year, where he addressed several rallies in Igembe North. During his meetings, Ruto made donations to several groups, among them boda boda groups, business groups and women groups.
The rallies were however full of supremacy wars between Kagwima and Meru County Roads Roads, Transport & Energy CECM Julius Taitumu.
Kagwima accused Mr. Taitumu of snatching Ksh 300,000 in donations given by DP Ruto to a group of women in Igembe North.
“Taitumu took the Ksh 300,000 and to avoid public shame, I this morning processed a loan from the bank. The women have now received their money,” Mr. Kagwima said.
In response, Julius Taitumu disputed the allegations, terming them a desperate attempt by his competitors to seek sympathy, hoping they can get a few votes in the process.
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