Meru Senate aspirant Mwiti Kathendu has ditched the Party of National Unity (PNU) for Jubilee.
Kathendu, who like Imanyara comes from Senator Kiraitu Murungi's Imenti region, said he made the decision after realising PNU was hell-bent on handing Mugambi Imanyara the ticket on a silver platter to vie in the August 8 elections.
Kathendu was given a rousing applause when he announced his defection during the burial of David M'Muguna, the father of Jubilee Party Meru chapter Secretary General Al Hajj Mwendia, on Friday.
Kiraitu received Kathendu to JP and reaffirmed the party's commitment to holding free and fair nominations. Kathendu said he was still in the race for Senate and will now battle it out for the Jubilee ticket against Kiraitu's ally Mithika Linturi (Igembe South MP). Kiraitu will not defend his seat, but run for governor.
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"I want to be in the government, not the opposition. Unlike Mary Mwiti and Jenaro Guantai who have stuck to PNU, I have decided to move out," Kathendu said.
Mrs Mwiti and Mr Guantai are some of Governor Peter Munya's strongest allies, with the latter also planning to run for Senate on a PNU ticket.
Kiraitu and MPs Kathuri Murungi (South Imenti), Joseph M'Eruaki (Igembe North) and Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), who also attended the burial, urged residents to fully back President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election, saying he had initiated mega projects and laid a conducive environment for investment.
Kiraitu and his running mate Titus Ntuchiu will face Munya for the governor's seat.