Why Phillip Murgor shelved his Presidential ambitions

The United Democratic Movement party leader’s decision to bolt out of the presidential race has exposed yet another level of perceived requirements to run for presidency, forget about the academic papers.

The move is also a cash cow for two major political factions and is thus set to re-position them ahead of elections, including fresh realignments in both the ruling Jubilee Party and opposition’s NASA.

Citing tribalism, inadequate funds and violation of election rules, former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor ultimately shelved his presidential ambitions, four months after announcing his bid.

The splashing of huge sums of money by the Jubilee Party during the launch last year coupled with immensely overwhelming support received by the two factions during public rallies may have contributed to the latest U-turn by Mr Murgor.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and Phillip Murgor. (Courtesy)

Blanked in sentiments such as “leadership — and by extension the presidency — has become a matter of who can galvanise tribal numbers using vast amounts of unexplained, illegally obtained money,” is mere dodging of the fact that he could not hold waters for the steamy competition for the seat.

This is because for one, while he has equal chances of making money, he has no powers to question someone’s wealth, especially after he left the prosecution arm watchdog body.

“Presidential campaigns are largely driven by tribalism. The main formations coalesce around an ethnic leader, after which, everyone else is a traitor or spoiler,” he said.

The lawyer added that he was repeatedly being asked where he could obtain the required support from a tribal base and billions of shillings needed for his campaign.

Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto in Kasarani for Jubilee Party launch. (PSCU)
“I have come to the realisation that I announced and embarked on my bid for the presidency too late in the present unregulated and free-for-all circumstances,” he told journalists on Sunday.

Mr Murgor said his decision to contest the presidency was driven by the urge “to change corruption and ethnicity that characterises Kenya’s politics”.

“Voters, particularly the less fortunate ones, have fallen prey to this addictive corruption-driven electioneering, and have been conditioned to appreciate those ready to bribe them,” he said.

He added: “Such voters have learnt to expect and demand cash as a condition to participate in campaigns at all levels, including attending rallies.”

Mr Murgor, reckoned that his own campaign manager in his United Democratic Movement ticket deserted him “because I could not accept funds from a drug baron”

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