In the last one week, politicians from the political divide have traded positions between NASA and Jubilee, with the hope of getting a share of the pie.
Tectonic political realignments are ongoing as President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila prepare for a fresh battle for the presidency.
The move by former Bomet Governor and NASA co-principal Isaac Ruto to join Jubilee came as little surprise, but captures the political frenzy ahead of the October 17 repeat poll that will either make Uhuru a one-term president or consign Raila to political retirement.
In the last one week, politicians from the political divide have traded positions in a bid to influence the electorate to Uhuru or Raila’s fold, with the hope that they will get a share of the pie.
Although political pundits insist the realignments are inconsequential, they acknowledge that they are morale boosters.
“The electorate already know who they will vote for, the number that can still be swayed is so negligible that what will decide this election will be turnout and a guarded vote,” says Mark Bichachi, a communications consultant and political analyst.
Titus Makhanu, a Nairobi lawyer, says the politicians shifting allegiance are doing so for personal reasons and have nothing to help either President Kenyatta or Raila.
Notably, immediately after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared the date of the repeat election, former Meru Governor Peter Munya was the first to open the transfer window with his move to NASA, saying he wanted to be on the right side of history.
Munya, who was accompanied by senior PNU party officials, including Secretary General John Anunda, Treasurer Peter Kaberia and senatorial candidate in the August 8 polls Mugambi Imanyara, was received by NASA luminaries and immediately made the sixth principal.
“We want to end the culture of rigging elections in this country. For Kenyans to be happy and the country to prosper, the bedrock of democracy, which is a free, fair and credible election, must not be interfered with,” said Munya.
The former Council of Governors chairman, who came second with 232,569 votes against Jubilee’s Kiraitu Murungi’s 281,737, said he will not join hands with those who stole his election just as they stole Raila’s.
A day after Munya’s exit from Jubilee, ODM candidate for Bungoma governor’s seat in the August elections, Alfred Khang’ati, announced he would campaign for Uhuru’s re-election.
Khang’ati said he had been mistreated by his party leader in the run-up to the elections, which led to his loss to Wycliffe Wangamati of Ford-Kenya.
Since then, it has been a free movement, especially for politicians who lost in the General Election. Former Narok West MP Patrick Ntutu and former Information Communication and Technology PS Joseph Tiampati have also indicated that they will support President Kenyatta’s re-election.
Tiampati and Ntutu were opposition candidates and Raila’s point men, running on ODM and Chama Cha Mashinani, respectively. They lost to Jubilee’s Governor Samuel Tunai.
In Kisii, Jubilee governor candidate Chris Obure said given the way they were treated in the Jubilee administration, he was still weighing his options before making his announcement.
Obure’s predicament is shared by Busia gubernatorial loser Paul Otuoma, who has said that though he has registered his displeasure with the way he was treated by his former party, ODM, he is not sure and is still consulting supporters before he declares who to support.
It is not clear however if the Mombasa governor loser Hassan Omar’s resignation from Wiper was in preparation for him to jump ship.
Omar said he had deep issues with the Opposition coalition.