Nairobi opinion leaders unite to condemn MP Gakuya over threat to quit UDA


Political and opinion leaders in Nairobi have joined to condemn Embakasi North Member of Parliament James Gakuya following his threat to lead a mass walkout from the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party if he fails to win the UDA Nairobi county chairmanship in the party elections scheduled to take place on Friday June 7 , 2024.

Various opinion leaders who spoke to the press noted that by threatening to quit the party in case of a loss in the polls, Gakuya painted a picture of a person who does not believe in party democracy and his sentiments which were based on tribal politics are in bad taste.

While appearing in a live radio morning show on Kameme FM on Tuesday, Gakuya said that his camp would form a new political outfit and chart a path away from President William Ruto’s UDA which has seen increasing hostilities following the emergence of a camp advancing Deputy President Rigathi Gachagu’s clamour to unite the Mt Kenya region.

“If I lose this seat, it will be obvious that we have no place in this Party as a community. We shall go ahead and join a new party,” Gakuya said referring to the Kikuyu community he hails from.

The Embakasi North legislator further urged his community to join hands to elect him as a Party Chairperson in the city saying it is by doing so he will safeguard their interests.

“We have been sidelined for long, our people’s houses are being demolished every day,” he said referring to a government campaign to demolish structures on riparian land.

Media and communication special and opinion leader in Nairobi Kenn Okaka condemned the statements calling Gakuya an escapist who was practicing ethnic balkanisation in a city that is cosmopolitan.

“The sentiments by Gakuya are in very bad taste. In politics, you either win or lose so by him saying that he will quit the party if he looses is cowardly and in my opinion, Gakuya is suffering from self entitlement which he is playing the tribal card to try and divide the people of Nairobi. This is totally unacceptable,” Okaka said.

“Gakuya should face the elections and if he wins, he leads the party members to unity and if he looses, he should take it in his stride and support the winner,” Okaka added.

Edward Githaiga opined that cowardly leaders like Gakuya who only think of their own victory and think that the party belongs to a particular group of people must be told that Kenyan are no longer stuck in the era of ethnic politics.

“If a leader like Gakuya can make such claims like inciting members of a certain community to quit the party, then we shall be loosing it as a country. Gakuya must know that we are working to foster unity in the country and we must begin by uniting everyone from the party to the entire country. If he fears facing Governor Sakaja, let him just opt out of the race because this is a democratic process not an ethnic balkanisation contest,” Githaiga said.

Gakuya urged his community to join hands to elect him as a Party Chairperson in the city saying it is by doing so he will safeguard their interests.

Gakuya is facing Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja in the race for UDA chairmanship in Nairobi. The Nairobi Governor has secured 240 delegates slots out of the available 340.

Sakaja, who met elected delegates on Monday, urged them to shun divisive politics which he said would impede the city’s growth.

“Let us not let tribal politics divide us. We need to create an environment for everyone to thrive regardless of their tribe,” Sakaja stated.

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