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Kibaki’s PNU says ‘No’ to Uhuru’s push to disband affiliate parties

By GAKUU MATHENGE | January 10th 2016

NAIROBI: Retired President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU), will not disband to join Jubilee Party of Kenya (JPK), a senior official has said. A former assistant minister and Kibaki’s nephew, Nderitu Mureithi said although PNU supports President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, it has no intention of joining the new outfit.

JPK proponents have urged other parties allied to the Jubilee coalition to dissolve to form a united front in readiness of next year’s General Elections.
“Many find it ironical that Meru senator, Kiraitu Murungi, who once fought for multi-party should is now championing for the return of single party politics. It is unacceptable,” Mureithi said.
Mr Kiraitu has been vocal pushing for the dissolution of political parties, including his own APK, especially in Mt Kenya.
Mureithi said insiders were suspicious of Kiraitu’s motives, given his background as a champion of democracy and second liberation hero.
“Statistics also show 70 per cent of sitting elected officials, including MPs, are replaced by voters every election year. Kiraitu knows this too well so he should stop forcing JPK down people’s throats,” Mureithi added.
Splits around the Jubilee project has resulted in intra regional political fragmentation with new conclaves emerging as platforms for debate questioning Jubilee’s agenda in the vote rich region.
Among the conclaves include Aberdare East Political Caucus led by Nairobi lawyer and Kipipiri MP Samuel Gichigi, bringing together politicians from Nyandarua, Laikipia and Nakuru counties, while Mt Kenya East Caucus, led by Embu senator, Mr Lenny Kivuti, features players from Embu, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Retired President Kibaki’s loyalists have teamed up with Mureithi and former PNU chief whip, Mr Jeremiah Kioni, to refurbish PNU with Kioni as party leader and Mureithi director of elections respectively.
The direction PNU decides to take is critical given many founders and trustees also doubled up as key members of the Mt Kenya Foundations, chaired by Equity Bank Chairman Peter Munga, and Mastermind Tobacco proprietor Wilfred Murungi, among others.
Mt Kenya Foundation and the Gema Cultural Association chaired by retired head of the Methodist Church, The Reverend Bishop Lawii Imathiu, share officials, trustees and patronage at different levels, and both are key movers and shakers in the region’s economic and political developments.
As director of elections, Mureithi is in charge of the docket that issues nomination certificates to candidates which is a crucial docket given the political happenings.
Shifting alignments, alliances and night meetings ahead of next years General Elections have kicked off in high gear in the region.
The Standard on Sunday has learnt that emissaries have been dispatched to reach out to the leadership of other key political players, including CORD and Kanu, with a view to hammering a compromise package ahead of the coming elections.

Last month, political consultant and close lieutenant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tony Gachoka, went to a popular TV show, Jeff Koinange Live to announce drastic political realignments in Jubilee coalition ahead of 2017 General Election.

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