Muturi pushes for formation of single party for larger Mt Kenya region

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi when he met opinion leaders in Lari, Kiambu County on Thursday. [Courtesy]

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has urged parties in the larger Mt Kenya region to form one party to increase the region’s bargaining power ahead of the August 9 polls.

In a series of tweets on Thursday after meeting opinion leaders in Lari, Kiambu County, Muturi said the region’s political interests were better protected under one outfit.

“I have no business in fighting other Mt Kenya region parties, let's channel through one voice, one party. Our interest is better protected by ourselves,” he said.

The Speaker who is eying the presidency under the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) ticket, urged the region to take a cue from other regions which have strong parties to push for their interests at the national level.

“Forming a Mt Kenya region strong party is not being tribal. You have every right to create a political party, regardless of the region. Other regions like Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley just to mention a few have their own strong party.”

Muturi said it was only through a strong political outfit that the region will unite and speak with one voice.

Despite Jubilee being a dominant party in Mt Kenya in 2017, wrangles between allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have seen the formation of splinter parties with Mt Kenya region affected the most.

Some of the political parties jostling for the vote-rich region ahead of the polls include The Service Party of Kenya (TSP) of Mwangi Kiunjuri, Chama Cha Kazi of Moses Kuria, Narc Kenya party of Martha Karua, Rebuild and Restore Party of Lenny Kivuti, National Ordinary People Empowerment Union, NOPEU of Mpuri Aburi, Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) of Kiraitu Murungi and The New Democrats of Thuo Mathenge.

Attempts to unite the parties by Karua, Kuria and Kiunjuri are yet to bear fruits with each party leader choosing to drum up support for his or her outfit in preparation for polls.

Muturi had joined One Kenya Alliance (OKA) to come up with a third political force to compete Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party and Azimio la Umoja Movement of Raila Odinga, but he has since developed cold feet after ANC and Ford Kenya leaders exited. 

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart bolted out of OKA and have now teamed up with Ruto in the Kenya Kwanza Coalition.

Asked why he skipped ANC National Delegates Convention on January 23 at Bomas of Kenya despite being invited, Muturi said Mudavadi failed to inform them in time that Ruto had been invited.

“I did not attend ANC event as we were surprised that Ruto would attend and Mudavadi did not have the courtesy to inform us, making us very suspicious of what they would declare,” he said.

With suspicion and rivalry among the party leaders, it will take a miracle for the parties to fold and form a bigger one six months before the election.