Focus on interim TNA officials as it courts members

Transformational National Alliance Party Chairman Wachira Keen (left) and party Secretary General Arnold Maliba go through their papers before submitting them to the Registrar of Political Parties last week. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

The spotlight is on the interim officials of Transformational National Alliance (TNA) as it seeks to hire 290 constituency coordinators to recruit members.

The party needs to recruit at least 24,000 members and demonstrate it has a footprint in a  majority of the 47 counties to enable it get its registration certificate as it prepares to participate in the 2022 elections.

Party interim Chairman Wachira Keen said the Political Parties Act requires them to recruit at least 1,000 members in 24 counties to get its interim registration within three months.

"We want to do it within a month then hit the ground running," he said in a telephone interview.

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The party has borrowed colours from the disbanded The National Alliance (TNA) previously associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who has launched a lone presidential campaign. However, its interim officials show it could be supported by key players currently in the Jubilee government.

Compliance process

“As part of the compliance process, Transformational National Alliance is seeking to establish offices in the 290 constituencies…the party is very rich in the brain and at the heart but not necessarily in the pocket,” said the party’s advert calling for "voluntary but facilitated positions" on Friday.

Keen, the former Nyeri county council chairman and immediate chairman of the Athi Water Services Board (AWSB), is deputised by former Permanent Secretary Dr Cyrus Njiru (Strategy) and Yassir Noor (Programmes).

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Other officials include Arnold Maliba (secretary general), land economist Dr Mwenda Makathimo (deputy secretary general), Dr Susan Mwanzia (treasurer) and GG Kagombe as executive director.

Chairman of Nyeri Young Professionals Isaac Thuita described the move as ill-timed and meant to weaken Jubilee with officials largely drawn from the ruling party.

“It is just a few years ago that Uhuru Kenyatta convinced the region to unite in one house. What has changed? We need a strong party to do our bidding,” said Thuita, a close ally of Keen.

New vehicle

While the footprint of Kuria is clear in the appointment of Kagombe from his constituency as executive director, he could be seeking to sidestep the provisions in the Political Parties Act that deem a member to have defected from a party if the member advances or promotes the interests of another party.

Kuria’s decision to throw his weight behind a new political vehicle came about after the Democratic Party of Kenya disowned him early this year.

"For the record, Kuria is not a member of our party but we recognise that he is a prominent politician and MP. He and everyone else is welcome to join us," said Keen.

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Registrar of Political PartiesTNATransformational National AlliancePolitical Parties Act