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Kurias ignored Raila’s pleas not to shame him by voting for JP

The majority of Kuria community ignored pleas by NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga not to embarrass him by voting for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On June 30 during his last campaign in the Kuria region, Raila urged the community to vote as a bloc to avoid giving Jubilee the upper hand.

Uhuru won in both Kuria East and Kuria West constituencies to get a total of 41,951 votes. That’s 65 per cent of votes cast, against Raila’s 21,199, which is 34 per cent.

The voters also ensured both constituency seats were won by Jubilee as ODM candidates performed dismally.

Kuria West MP Mathias Robi of Jubilee was reelected after he floored Migori Senator Wilfred Machage who vied on the DP ticket.

Robi garnered 16,930, while Machage got 5,309.

ODM’s Matiko Bohoko was a distant third with 3,661 votes.

Kuria East MP-elect is Marwa Kitayama, who won with 15,632 votes followed by former Kiambu county executive Wilson Marwa of ANC, who got 7,499 votes.

Kuria East ODM chairperson Rahab Robi came a distant third with 1,643 votes.

“The Kuria community could not afford to be in the opposition, we have moved on with the winning team and we are firmly in Jubilee,” Robi told the Star on the phone yesterday.

Robi, who was the Jubilee Party pointman in Nyanza region, said in the last election, Raila defeated them by 55 per cent. He said this sent them back to the drawing board.

Robi said tarmacking of four roads in the area, starting a KMTC at Kehancha Hospital, a Technical Training Institute in Mabera and several job appointments in the government made an impact.

On July 29 when Jubilee made its last campaign tour in the area, the President created Ntimaru and Mabera districts.

The community saw this as a main step to get their own county as they feel sidelined by the majority of the Luo community in Migori county.

“We had our task cut out and by having all national seats and the majority votes in Kuria, we have shown Raila that Kurias will not vote as a bloc for him,” Robi said.

Nick Oluoch, a communication lecturer at Kisii University, said while Jubilee leaders in Kuria worked as a team, their ODM counterparts were at loggerheads across the county.

“When Raila was in Kuria, among issues he had to deal with was that ODM candidate Governor Okoth Obado was supporting other candidates in Kuria,” he said.

Oluoch said the claims were underscored when Rahab Robi accused Obado of supporting Kitayama a few days to the election.

Signs of a Jubilee wave in the community came only weeks after Raila’s visit, when Ntimaru East MCA-elect Augustine Mwera led more than 500 youths in defecting to Jubilee

Mwera said the group was drawn from Kuria Bwirege clan, which has been supporting Raila as a bloc since 1997 when he first ran for President.

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