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Mt Kenya East leaders seeking party to own for 2022 election

By Wainaina Ndung’u | July 11th 2021

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and other leaders dancing at a past event. [Courtesy]

There are strong indications that the Kenya Patriots Party (KPP) could be the political vehicle that Mt Kenya East politicians will adopt and re-brand as the regional entity.

Reliable sources said the KPP that has six MCAs in Meru Assembly had emerged as a strong contender to be acquired and re-branded to carry the aspirations of Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties in next year’s General Election.

The arrangement is being worked on by allies of the region's main politicians who include governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and Embu’s Martin Wambora and regional political heavyweights such as National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and National Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Moaka Maore.

According to reliable sources, the aim is to draw in all the main political players apart from Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya who is stuck with Party of National Unity (PNU) and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi who is seen as the front man of Deputy President William Ruto in Mt Kenya East.

The sources also point at Tharaka Nithi Senator Prof Kithure Kindiki as another major politician who might remain out of the new entity.

A source who knows about the negotiations for the new party said the original six parties that had originally been identified for possible adoption have now been whittled down to three.

Most were disqualified because their officials expressed desire to retain some control and the Mt Kenya East team did not like that.

“Under all consideration, KPP has emerged a strong contender and it is almost a foregone conclusion it will be settled on as our new party,” said the source.

The party was formerly Chama Cha Mwananchi associated with Nakuru politician Koigi wa Wamwere.

Its secretary general and spokesman Dick Kamau confirmed that talks were ongoing but they were yet to reach an agreement.

“We have been approached and we welcome any suggestions that will strengthen the party. It is all work in progress.

"We shall be open-minded and will not place obstacles on the way for anything good for the country,” said Kamau.

A source in the negotiating team said: “KPP is the most compliant of the possible candidates. Its records and returns are up to date which means less headache in moving forward."

Besides, KPP has some historical connection with Meru.

After 2017, it offered a soft landing to some losers of Jubilee Party primaries who later won six MCA seats, and three others got nominated.

It being picked as the Mt Kenya East vehicle will be ironical in some way as its main promoter in Meru from 2017 has been Senator Linturi who is now the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) point man in the region.

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