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Naomi Shaban rescinds decision to quit Jubilee Party

Taveta MP Naomi Shaban has returned to Jubilee, two days after announcing she had quit the party.

The National Assembly deputy Majority Leader said her supporters had asked her to remain in the party in whose ticket President Uhuru Kenyatta is to seek re-election in the August polls.

Dr Shaban is expected to participate in the Jubilee nominations on Friday.

Addressing journalists at her home in Taveta Tuesday morning, Dr Shaban said even if she were to leave Jubilee, she would still have joined its affiliate party as she backs President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for a second term.

She said “something” went wrong at the Jubilee headquarters leading to her resignation on April 8.

“I pointed out these issues but nobody seemed to care and thus I resigned,” she said.

She accused an unnamed senior party official of “messing up things in Taveta.”

NON-TAVETA CANDIDATE

“A non-Taveta candidate named Naomi like myself was planted to oppose me in Taveta. Many things went wrong in the party but they didn’t want to rectify them,” she said.

However, she said her supporters urged her not to leave.

“In any way, I was going to join a party affiliated to Jubilee because my President is Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto,” she said.

She promised to make her final announcement on party affiliation later Tuesday evening.

Dr Shabaan said she was a Jubilee founder member and it was a “difficult thing to resign.”

“I consult Uhuru and Ruto constantly. I will always support them,” she said and denied that she was denied a direct nomination.

“At no time did I discuss direct nomination. Uhuru Kenyatta had assured everybody (of) a free and fair nomination for all aspirants,” she said.

She said after her resignation, many parties including the opposition approached her to join them.

“I am good material for any party. Whoever cannot value Naomi Shaban is a joker,” she said.

READY FOR PRIMARIES

She said she is ready for Friday’s nominations saying she did not fear anyone “because I am sure I will clinch the ticket and win the seat as I have done in the past three elections”.

She will face off with Mr Mike Banton in the Jubilee polls.

Dr Shaban’s defection had been seen as a huge blow to Jubilee as she was President Kenyatta’s long-standing friend and lead women mobiliser at the Coast.

The Taveta MP, in her resignation letter dated April 8, cited “unavoidable circumstances” as the reason for her departure.

“I have seen tell-tale signs of being rigged out and I could not wait to find out at the ballot,” Dr Shaban told the Nation.

She said that she had given up on trying to get the party to arrest what she said were plans to deny her the seat by installing someone else.

“I am now very tired. I have complained for a very long time and no one seems to care. Now, my only option is to move out,” she said.

ASPIRANTS

She has been listed alongside Naomi Ndisha, and Mike Hamsi as Jubilee Party Taveta parliamentary aspirants.

Dr Shaban has cut a figure as one of the most experienced women politicians in Taita Taveta County.

In 2013, she braved an ODM wave to be re-elected on President Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) ticket, which she had promoted with her polished Swahili.

She had joined a well-organised group of politicians to market the Jubilee UhuRuto duo whom she described as progressive.

But her dalliance and friendship with President Kenyatta did not start in 2013.

In 2002, Dr Shaban, then launching her career, beat an anti-Kanu tide to be elected as Taita Taveta MP, when Mr Kenyatta was running for President against Mr Mwai Kibaki of Narc.

In 2007, when Mr Kenyatta had joined forces with President Kibaki, Dr Shaban stuck by him, and was, as a reward for her loyalty, appointed as Minister for Special programmes before being moved to the Gender docket.

Dr Shaban would again capture her seat in 2013 in a county where the governor, senator, woman representative, four of the five MPs and a majority of the members of the county assembly were elected on an ODM ticket.

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