By Vitalis Kimutai and Moses Njagih
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled his much-publicised political vehicle, The National Alliance (TNA), at an elaborate and expensively assembled launch.
Uhuru marshalled thousands of his supporters from across the country to attend the function at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
The G7 alliance members including Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Eldoret North MP William Ruto led more than 70 MPs who attended the function.
Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Mr Abdi Ramadhan, also attended the event alongside Cabinet Ministers Yusuf Haji, Jamleck Kamau, Dr Naomi Shaaban, Samuel Poghisio, Professor Sam Ongeri, Dr Mohammed Kuti and Wamalwa among others.
Ruto caused a stir and temporarily disrupted the event when he strode in shortly before the speeches commenced in the company of MPs Charles Keter, Aden Duale and Muhamud Mohamed to ululations from the crowd.
Mr Onyango Oloo, the Secretary General and Mr Johnson Sakaja gave speeches detailing the ideals of TNA.
Sakaja announced that TNA officials would not be contesting elective posts in the General Election.
“A statement of faith has gone out across the country and beyond. We vow to make Kenya a better country for current and future generations to live in and for the economy to thrive,” said Sakaja.
He said the party would champion the rights of people of all class in the society.
“A torch has been passed to a new generation that is proud of their cultural heritage, ready and willing to pay the price, carry the burden to ensure peaceful country,” he said.
Sakaja added: “a movement towards a better Kenya has began and we will stand tall, proud and undivided as a people as we need visionary, committed leaders.”
Oloo said the country required transformative leadership as the clamour for change had come to a close with the promulgation of the new Constitution.
“Leaders who previously pushed for reforms are today the worst reformers and non-performers in government and political scene. That is why we refuse to accept leadership being imposed on us as we must usher a youthful crop of committed professionals,” said Oloo.
He said TNA would ensure that there is a free and fair nomination and election process in the General Election.
“We will not allow divisive and sectarian interests to prevail as we have a duty to God and future generations to safeguard our country from sliding to dictatorship,” he said.
Oloo said voters had a responsibility to pick dedicated leaders with the ability to bring about the much-needed integrity in the political scene and roll out meaningful development.
Youthful professionals at the helm of the party Mr Wambui Gichuru (treasurer), Patrick Chande (organising secretary), Dr Boniface Chitayi (secretary for health), Dennis Kirwa (deputy treasurer),Charles Waithaka (deputy secretary general) and Ms Lydia Mokaya (vice chairperson) delivered their pre-taped speeches.
Gender Minister Dr Naomi Shaaban said Uhuru had a constitutional right to contest the Presidency and had the potential to succeed President Mwai Kibaki at State House.
Assistant Minister Cecily Mbarire said Kenyans wanted a united nation devoid of tribalism and corruption.
“We need a country where youth and women can achieve their full potential and where they will be included in decision making at all levels,” said Mbarire.
Assistant Minister Lewis Nguyai said that TNA was capable of effecting the much-needed change on the political scene.
Perhaps in the clearest indication yet of their working relation, the responsibility of inviting Uhuru to speak rested on Wamalwa, a member of the G7 alliance.
“I am not a TNA party member as I belong to New Ford Kenya. I am here as a friend of Uhuru and the party,” Wamalwa said.
The Saboti MP was the only non-party member who spoke at the function.