Nominations were a waste of time and money, Jubilee aspirants say

Wasted money, wasted energy, wasted time. Those are the feelings harboured by many of the aspirants who gave their all to ensure they carried the day during Jubilee Party nominations on Friday, only to have the whole process nullified in the evening by the party leadership.

Millions of shillings were spent in paying agents, mobilising voters, among other expenses, on the day many knew presented the biggest hurdle in their way to clinching the seats they had coveted.

In Nyeri County, for instance, politicians lost more than Sh335 million, according to our estimations.

There are 572 polling stations in the county and each aspirant had at least two agents in each.

Jubilee has five governor aspirants, four in the Senate race, 30 aspiring MPs, four woman representative candidates and 250 MCA hopefuls — amounting to 293 aspirants.

That means roughly 335,192 agents were deployed.

The agents were earning between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500, according to information the Sunday Nation obtained from an agent for one of the governorship aspirants.

Therefore, a minimum of Sh335 million was spent.

Ms Mukami Wachira, one of those eyeing the woman representative seats in Nyeri, said she spent Sh1.14 million to pay agents.

She said the party should consider compensating the aspirants since it was not their fault that the outcome was not as planned.

Ms Wachira is vying for the party’s ticket alongside the incumbent, Priscilla Nyokabi, Rose Waikundi and Elizabeth Wamuyu.

“We feel embarrassed by the party. We had great trust,” she said.

She criticised the idea of repeating the exercise, claiming that it is likely that some politicians will print their own ballot papers and rig the exercise.

“The party must be keen and ensure credibility,” she noted.

Kieni MP hopeful Nemesius Warugongo said he had incurred a loss of Sh7 million, which he said he had borrowed from a bank.

He said the money was used to pay the agents and in logistics during campaigns. He had 300 agents.

“You cannot fail to pay the agents because they did their job. Cancellation of the exercise was not in their control. The repeat means aspirants going deeper into their pockets for more money,” Mr Warugongo said.

Mathira MP aspirant Rigathi Gachagua said he had hired 216 agents to secure his votes in the 108 polling stations.

“The exercise was not satisfying. Remember we had paid the nomination fee and bought smart cards, which were never used. So, the party cannot complain that it had no money to run the exercise,” Mr Gachagua said.

He asked the party to use the updated voters’ register during the repeat of the primaries.

In Kirinyaga County, two parliamentary aspirants are counting losses after going full throttle in the race.

Mr Peter Gitau, the Mwea Central MP, and Mr Josiah Murigu, a first-time contender for the Kirinyaga Central seat, could not hide their disappointment. Mr Gitau said he spent Sh4 million in the nominations.

In Laikipia County, Mr Ndiritu Muriithi and Mr Simon Mithamo, who are vying for governorship and senatorial seats respectively, were also coming to terms with the amounts they lost.

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