Just weeks after the Jubilee party primaries, details have emerged on how president Uhuru allies abandoned Peter Kenneth for Nairobi senator Mike Sonko. According to sources close to Jubilee Party, Sonko threatened to release damaging documents on Jubilee party, which prompted President Uhuru aides to ditch Kenneth for Sonko.
“The tapes are damaging and, should Sonko release them, the Jubilee campaign would be shattered,” said a Jubilee Party official aware of the recordings.
The source told the Star that President Kenyatta preferred Peter Kenneth's candidature for Nairobi governor and did not want Jubilee to conduct nominations in the county. It is said that the President’s position was backed by Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe and a team of powerful elders from Murang’a led by veteran politician Maina Wanjigi.
Things however took a new twist a week to the party primaries, leading to Deputy President William Ruto and a number of State House officials to ditch Kenneth for Sonko after the latter had totally declined to step aside.
“Ruto saw the opportunity to fix Kenneth because of his 2022 ambitions. State House officials on the other hand were scared that their dealings with Sonko would be exposed," a source known to be close to Sonko told the Star.
But Sonko has denied having such tapes adding that he knew he would emerge victorious even without endorsements from top Jubilee leaders. “That I have tapes is cheap propaganda. I have never recorded anyone and neither have I blackmailed anyone to support me. The President should not be dragged into this matter," he said.
“The DP and other people have decided to support me because I won the Jubilee nomination in a fair contest,” added Sonko.
Senator Sonko added that Kenneth was enjoying government support. “He was being supported by people from the Ministry of Interior and others. I worked had for my win and I'm sure the great people of Nairobi will vote for me in August,” said Sonko.
Sources further revealed that some influential businesspeople in Nairobi are not happy with Sonko's candidature and have vowed to make sure he does not win the governor seat.
Sonko trounced Peter Kenneth to clinch the coveted Jubilee party ticket, a win that Kenneth contested, terming the nomination exercise as shambolic and marred by irregularities. He has since selected Vivo Energy Chief Executive Officer Polycarp Igathe as his running mate.
Sonko will face incumbent governor Evans Kidero in the August general elections. He will also for a second time face Peter Kenneth, who ditched Jubilee after his primary election loss to contest as an independent candidate. Former Raila Odinga aide Miguna Miguna is also running an independent candidate.