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MP John Waluke ditches Raila for Ruto

Sirisia MP John Waluke has left Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja coalition to join President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza.

The MP accused Odinga of instigating the destruction of property in the name of peaceful demonstrations and urged him to halt further planned protests and engage in dialogue with President William Ruto through parliamentary-backed bipartisan talks.

Waluke made the announcement during a fundraising campaign at Chebukaka Girls’ High School in Kabuchai constituency yesterday.

Also read: Waluke’s wife: I’ve been abused and mocked by unsympathetic callers

The MP, who along with his colleague Grace Wakhungu is facing graft charges at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), claimed that former President Uhuru Kenyatta asked him to switch to Jubilee so that he could be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to defend his Sirisia seat.

He said he joined Jubilee out of respect for Uhuru, for whom he campaigned in the 2017 polls, and actively participated in the formation of the Kenya Kwanza government by recruiting members to the UDA before he was forced to switch camps.

Waluke also criticised Odinga’s leadership, arguing that he has no agenda to change the lives of Kenyans, but is instead fighting for his interests.

“Ruto is taking Kenya to the next level,” Waluke said, noting that he had long since left the opposition brigade and joined President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza government.

The MP was part of a group of MPs who led Bungoma in the massive United Democratic Alliance (UDA) recruitment along with former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga, Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi, Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa.

Also read: Jailed MP John Waluke’s family appeals for financial help to raise hefty fine

During a meeting with President William Ruto at State House on Thursday, April 20, 2023, Waluke said he could not be left out when everyone from his region was in the government led by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.

He said former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila have failed to run the country and urged the opposition to give Kenya Kwanza time to fulfil its promises.

Waluke’s move is a major blow to the Azimio la Umoja coalition, which has been struggling to gain momentum ahead of the 2022 elections.

It also strengthens the ruling coalition’s grip on power and could further divide the opposition ahead of the elections.

The move comes amid heightened political tensions in the country, with opposition leaders calling for mass protests over alleged electoral reforms and the high cost of living.

Also read: Drama as MP caught in roadside brawl with ‘wife’ – VIDEO