Deputy President William Ruto yesterday said he endured endless rejections to win over former Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye.
“It started in 2012, when we were crafting a team for Jubilee, but after several attempts, it didn’t work,” he said at the rural home of Nkedianye in Old Kitengela.
Ruto said Nkedianye and Kajiado West ODM politician Joseph ole Simel’s camps could not accept to join Jubilee.
The efforts continued before the 2017 election, but, still, they hit a dead end. The Nkedianye team stuck with Raila Odinga’s ODM.
But on late Wednesday, Nkedianye dumped Odinga and pledged to support his successor, Joseph ole Lenku.
He further withdrew his petition against Lenku’s August 8 victory.
Ruto said the journey leading to Nkedianye’s defection was fired up by Lenku, who launched a massive hunt for ODM members to join Jubilee.
Lenku’s inclusion of two ODM members in his County Executive Committee and the defection of all ODM MP aspirants paved the way for Nkedianye’s final defection.
Nkedianye said, “We have agreed to work together. We support Lenku’s politics of unity. We are now in Jubilee.”
Nkedianye came second after Lenku in the governor race.
Lenku hailed Nkedianye’s decision and thanked Ruto and Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, who was present, for helping “me bring ODM members to my side”.
“Now ODM is dead and buried in Kajiado,” he said.
While filing a petition against Lenku, Nkedinaye had said Kajiado was among the counties with “computer-generated” leaders.
He said he had damaging exhibits against the IEBC on the manipulation of election results from 60 polling stations in favour of Lenku.
“I’ll leave the determination of the winner to God. The same God has opened my eyes to see how I was hauled out of office through a manipulated election,” he told journalists.
He denied congratulating Lenku on his win, saying the remarks were taken out of context.
“That election lacked the tenets of a democratic process. It’s a total shame and unacceptable in a society that gained Independence from the yoke of colonialism more than 50 years ago,” Nkedianye said.
Through his lawyer, Saitabao Kanchori, he said he had the evidence necessary to overturn Lenku’s win.
Kanchori said a username for one of the subcounty returning officers accessed the IEBC server at the headquarters with her laptop at her station, deleted and modified elections for 167 polling stations that amounted to 64,230 Lenku votes.