Plans to bring together Jubilee affiliate parties ahead of the next General Election got a boost today when New Ford-K leaders endorsed the proposed merger.
Led by the party’s leader Ken Lusaka who is also the Bungoma Governor, the leaders said they have resolved to join the Jubilee Party whose slogan is ‘tuko pamoja’ (we are together).
The leaders who called on the Deputy President William Ruto at his Sugoi home in Uasin-Gishu County on Tuesday said they have endorsed the proposed merger for the sake of a united country.
“This time round we are extremely careful so that we are not left behind when Jubilee forms the Government after 2017 General Election,” said Bungoma County Majority Leader Henry Nyongesa.
The leaders were drawn from Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Busia and Kakamega Counties.
Others were Cabinet Minister Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation), MPs David Were (Matungu), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Reginalda Wanyonyi (Bungoma), Janet Nangabo (Trans Nzoia) and Bungoma deputy governor Hillary Chongwony.
Former Cabinet Ministers Noah Wekesa, Musikari Kombo, former MPs Joash Wamangoli, Raphael Wanjala, MCAs and opinion leaders among others addressed the function.
They said members of the Luhya community will be careful on how they will vote in the next elections so as not to make another mistake of being in the Opposition.
“We are working with the Government and will do so come the next election so that we can benefit. We cannot afford to be in the Opposition anymore,” said Ms. Nangabo.
The leaders praised the Jubilee administration for initiating various development projects as well as appointing Mr. Wamalwa to the Cabinet despite the region being perceived as an opposition zone.
“We are grateful that the Government has initiated various development projects including the revival of Mumias sugar which is the only source of livelihood for the people of western who are largely sugarcane farmers,” said Mr. Wamangoli.
“As a community we are better off in Jubilee than in any other political party,” said Mr. Kombo.
The Deputy President welcomed the move by the leaders to agree to endorse the merger as the only way to fight tribalism and negative ethnicity in the country.
He said elections in the past left Kenyans more divided, a move that has guided the Jubilee administration to merge all its parties to unite the country.
“There is higher calling for us to unite the country than just winning an election,” said Mr. Ruto.
He went on: “We want to bring together all Kenyans under the Jubilee Party so that they feel part and parcel of the Government and achieve unity of the country.”
Ms Wanyonyi observed: “We should open our eyes and see where the next Government will come from so that we do not repeat mistakes of the last election,” she said.
The leaders unanimously agreed to launch awareness campaigns to educate the people on the importance of supporting the new party for the sake of the future of the community.
Mr. Lusaka said his party will work closely with the Government in addressing the challenges facing the people.
He said time for confrontational politics was long gone.
“We should know that the Jubilee administration can still win the next election if it goes with its 2013 general election parties,” he said.
He added: “But because this Government is not only interested in winning the election but unity of Kenyans, this is why it is involving all Kenyans in this merger.”
The Deputy President emphasized the need for all Kenyans to embrace national unity, noting that the country stands a better chance of addressing its challenges when it is united.
“We want the next election to be defined by different set of values. We want to be defined by unity of all Kenyans,” said the Deputy President.
“It is time we stopped politics of competition based on this community against that community. This is promoting tribalism,” he added.
The Deputy President asked leaders to focus on development instead of expending their energies on divisive politics.
“Kenyans are now clever people who can elect leaders focusing on issues irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds,” said Mr. Ruto.
“Our people do not need cheap politics. They need leaders who can serve and help them improve their living standards,” added the Deputy President.