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{UAH} Edmund /Pojim: Koigi ditches Jubilee for Nasa

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Former MPs Koigi Wa Wamwere and Kirugi M'Mukindia have defected from the Jubilee Party to the opposition alliance Nasa.

Nasa Presidential candidate Raila Odinga received them in Nairobi on Thursday, just two weeks after the two politicians failed to clinch Jubilee tickets in their respective bids to go back to Parliament.

"I came all the way to this place looking for national unity because it is difficult to get this country to the level of development we need without unity," Koigi claimed.

"I have decided to work with Nasa and I will work hard to ensure Nasa has got the victory it deserves."

Mr M'Mukindia is a former Imenti Central MP who had intended to vie as Meru senator.

He described Mr Odinga as the next President of Kenya.

Mr Wamwere, a former MP for Nakuru North (now known as Subukia) is a former detainee who fled the country to Norway during President Daniel Moi's days before returning during the Kibaki era.

He reclaimed the seat and symbolically shaved his dreadlocks to signify change.

But he lost the seat again in 2007 and has been trying unsuccessfully to return into active politics.

For a politician who folded his Chama Cha Mwananchi Party to join Jubilee, Koigi's defection was surprising, especially since he has been penning articles critical of the opposition in the recent months.

In August 2016, he wrote in the Nation that Jubilee was only sure way of avoiding a return to Kanu-era politics.

"The opposition Cord is an alliance of several parties that want to retain their identity. The existence of Cord is guarantee enough against the return of the one-party era," he said in the article.

In February, following the controversy over the Itare Dam, Koigi accused Mr Odinga of spreading ethnic propaganda over the usage of the water from the controversial dam.

The decision to quit Jubilee for another party could also be questioned on legality should he try to vie for any post on Nasa.

Party hopping is now illegal under the elections laws in Kenya.

Mr Wamwere sought the Jubilee ticket for Nakuru senatorial post but lost terribly to Nakuru County Speaker Susan Kihika.

On Thursday, he argued that only Mr Odinga would deliver Kenyans from bondage.

"From the days we were detained during Kanu era, we were looking for a Canaan vision in our country. I can say it is not easy for someone to say they are ready to be Joshua and take their country to Canaan," he said, referring to recent pronouncement by Mr Odinga when he was declared the Nasa flag bearer.

"I can only wish my brother Raila well because there is no other person who has said he is willing to be Joshua.

"President Uhuru Kenyatta himself has not said he wants to be Joshua.

"His Deputy William Ruto has not said is he wants to be Caleb ready to accompany Joshua, so we can believe that under their leadership, we will remain in the desert," he said.

Mr Odinga described the two as "very prominent politicians" and singled out Koigi as a person he shares a lot with.

"I and Koigi have a history (sic). We have been detained several times by the previous regime for our stand on change in this country. Koigi has decided to team up with us as we move on towards the general election," Mr Odinga said.

They will be presented officially during the ODM National Delegates Conference at Kasarani Friday.

Koigi ditches Jubilee for Nasa - Daily Nation

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