Reasons for Withdrawing from the Kiambu Senate Race

Last evening I received a message from the most ardent of the supporters saying; “hi Senator Dave. I have done ma part which’s starting to turn sour coz of ua unavailability. Plz advice…” I just wondered how I could reply to that message. You see over the last couple of months, I have been promising our volunteers that the winds will break and we shall have enough funding to make this campaign viable.

Two weeks ago at a meeting with my Member of Parliament, we had agreed to keep our campaigns separate but mutually support each other where we could. During that meeting, he also gave me a sense of how costly running a campaign can be. It was quite clear I had underestimated the whole initiative. Yet, because of the kind of interest our campaign had attracted, it was also clear that we would not need to spend so much as other candidates. Our campaign had already attracted enough attention in Kiambu.

To-date I can with joy say, that my candidature has the largest name recognition in Kiambu. That is why, many people are now more interested in meeting our team in person, as opposed to giving out the cards, that we have been distributing. So even as I get out of the race, I know we did not need as much as our competitors for the people to come out and listen to us.

That is why with online campaigns, one in September, and the current one Ryan Olson has been supporting we strongly believed we would have enough to mount a credible Senate Challenge. Unfortunately both campaigns raised slightly above 4% of the target amount. How could I promise change to the people of Kiambu, if only 4% of my friends believe in me strongly enough to support the campaign?

Yet as all this was happening, a local media house wanted to create a “a day’s documentary” of how I juggle between work and campaign. The BBC also wanted to tag along. So on Thursday the 29th, I was to go register as a voter in Mang’u even as I address a “small” public rally of about 100 people – my home village. These are the same people who have vowed to vote for me, regardless of how the other 1 million voters cast their votes.

The questions on my mind all along have been, how I would look into their eyes, and tell them that our campaign was doing well. I know for a fact we are not getting anywhere the kind of funding support we had hoped to get from both local and international supporters?

I should perhaps also add that I had been in communication with an organization that provides security to Human Rights defenders. (You see, I have also been getting some threatening sms-es). I had thought if only I could get enough security, I could still go out to the people and challenge them to vote on account of the 5-point program. But when I received “a regret letter” this afternoon, it was quite clear there would be no way of pulling it through.

I do not think it is possible to run this campaign without adequate security and without resources to cover the logistics of holding meetings in Kiambu County. It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow therefore that I wish to announce my withdrawal from the Kiambu County Senate Race.

To all my supporters in Kiambu, and elsewhere, am sorry for letting you down. Please note, that I would not expose myself in the way I did, if I had not believed deep in my heart, that we could deliver on the change that we need in Kiambu. Remember that long after the elections have come and gone, I will always have to live with the shame of exposing personal information to the world. I will live with that pain, but even greater will be the pain of knowing, had my friends come through for me, we could have pulled this through.

For the young people of Kiambu – the bulk of my supporters, you deserve good leaders, but only if you are willing to “judge people by the content of their character” and not how much money they have. After all for many of these people, we all know how they acquired their wealth. I feel sad, not having lasted long enough to give you the choice you deserve.

For those who supported my campaign – I will work on a formula for refunding you the money, because while we have already used it in the campaign efforts, you donated with the aim of us holding right up to the end. As you can see, we were not able to attract a critical mass but the loss should all be mine…Thank you for having faith in me. We shall be writing to you individually soon.

Source – Kuria For Senator