Political observers concur that Saitoti was the glue that sustained PNU in turbulent political waters.
“ PNU has no future because the late Saitoti was the only factor holding it together as his presidential vehicle. With his death, members are likely to scatter to other parties,” says lawyer Martin Oloo, a political analyst and lecturer at the Kenya School of Law.
Head of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Nairobi, Adams Oloo, says political partiesexist because a certain leader is in it and when such a leader ceases to be there or withdraws, most of them become shells.
“Ford-Asili died when Kenneth Matiba withdrew from it. Ford-People is a shell after the retirement of Simeon Nyachae. DP is not strong enough since President Kibaki kept off its affairs. PNU may suffer similar fate given Saitoti is no longer there for it,” added Adams.
There are fears PNU, which was President Kibaki’s re-election vehicle in 2007 could weaken as was his first election vehicle in 2002, Narc. From a strong coalition that swept Kanu out of power after close to four decades, Narc is a pale shadow of its former self with less than five MPs in the Tenth Parliament.
But PNU national organising secretary Maina Kamanda, maintains the party has a promising future.
Committed to MoU
Kamanda says the party is still committed to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Saitoti, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. They agreed to pick one of them as the flag-bearer.
Kalonzo alluded to the MoU during the burial of Saitoti.
“ PNU will soon call a management committee meeting to discuss the way forward, especially on the matter of PNU working with Uhuru and Kalonzo,” Kamanda told The Standard On Sunday, adding that this will be done after the period of mourning is over.
Kamanda further said PNU secretary general Amos Kimunya was expected to call for the meeting. However, questions abound on what happens if for example PNU is still committed to the MoU, but Uhuru with his The National Alliance (TNA) has no interest or Kalonzo decides to advance his presidential bid independently through the Wiper Democratic Movement.
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