President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political base is going back to the basics as leaders from the region rush to register new political parties with the hope that this will catapult them into national limelight when his term ends.
In what looks like a question of who makes it to the political registrar’s office first, the leaders are, in anticipation of a complete collapse of the Jubilee Party, looking to have their ducks in a row as cracks continue to emerge within the ruling party.
Political pundits say the move to register the parties is being fuelled by the fear of a potential vacuum in Central after President Kenyatta’s exit from State House and the unreliability of the Jubilee Party, which was formed as a special purpose vehicle just to secure Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto a second term in office.
The latest kids on the block is Transformation National Alliance Party (TNAP) associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Civic Renewal Party linked to Murang’a Governor Mwangi Iria.
Last week the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu, in a letter, informed the advocates of TNAP that the name has been reserved ahead of its formal registration.
Weak and exposed
“Your application has been considered as required by the law and the name Transformational National Alliance Party (TNAP) has been reserved. Kindly apply for provisional registration under section 6 of the Political Parties Act 2011,” reads part of the letter by Ms Nderitu.
The new party has adopted an eagle as its symbol and has ‘Kazi na Pesa’ as its slogan. The slogan is normally used by the controversial the Gatundu South MP.
Former Athi Water Services Board chairman Wachira Keen is the interim chairman, while former Transport Permanent Secretary Cyrus Njiru is deputy chairman in charge of programmes. Anold Maliba is secretary general, Agnes Ibara the organising secretary and Dors Aburi, treasurer.
The new party rekindles memories of The National Alliance Party (TNA) which was dissolved together with other 12 parties to form Jubilee in the year 2016.
The back story to this, analysts argue, is the feeling that the region has been left weak and exposed with no strong regional party as the country heads into another high-stakes election that could be won through political coalitions.
An MP who declined to be named said there is a growing feeling that the allies of the DP in the region might lock out rivals in Jubilee nomination processes who might be seen as ambitious or those insisting Ruto puts on the table his offer to the region the same way President Kenyatta put on the table his offer to Ruto and his defunt URP party in 2013.
Mr Keen declined to comment on the registration of the new party saying the officials will give a comprehensive statement next week. “Kenyans are free to form political parties as envisaged by the new Constitution 2010,” he said.
Last year, there were indications that Mr Kuria who has announced he will vie for the presidency in 2022, would adopt the Democratic Party (DP) once led by former President Kibaki.
The Gatundu South MP, a rubble rousing legislator on his second term, is said to have abandoned the venture after being turned down by DP.
However, some of the leaders in the region have rubbished the new party saying the move is taking the region and the country backwards into ethnic-based political parties.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungw’a poured cold water on the move saying it did not mean much.
“Those are self-seekers who are trying to revive ethnic base political parties with a view of raising ethnic emotions and try and get back to the public limelight,” said Mr Ichungw’a.
The region’s political leadership is currently divided in two groups, Tanga Tanga allied to Ruto and Kieleweke seen to be supporting the President.
There is also another group of political leaders in the region who are not in any of the teams.
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