Kanu back to the drawing board, to keep government in check

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda speaks during Kanu's retreat in Nakuru on December 4, 2022.  [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Independence party Kanu has embarked on strengthening itself with a view of making itself a formidable force ahead of the 2027 election.

National chairman Gideon Moi, who spoke during a party's retreat in Nakuru on Sunday, said: "Our focus now is on strengthening Kanu even as we play our role in the opposition."

"We are in the opposition now. We are keen to graciously do a good job for Kenyans until members think otherwise. We must keep the government of the day in check,” said Gideon told party delegates.

He called on party members, including those elected and nominated under Kanu, to work together without double standards.

“Even as we serve the electorate, we must not forget our duty to the party. We shall not have one foot in government and another in the opposition. We must move forward together, as a team,” said Gideon.

The former Baringo senator noted that the outcomes of the August 2022 General Election, where Kanu was a member of the Azimio Coalition, should not leave the members in self-pity.

“Kanu may be a minority but our contributions in Parliament have always been tremendous. We didn’t realize desired results but this shouldn’t make us feel wasted. It was an eye-opener,” he said.

Gideon said the focus on Kanu should now be on the future, hinting at a looming change in the party's leadership that will steer it to victory in the next elections.

He said the success of the party in the next polls is anchored on the success of its elected members, urging them to remain focused.

Kanu National chairman Gideon Moi speaks during a past event in Solian, Eldama Ravine, in Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“Those elected must not lose focus on serving the interests of the people who elected them. By doing that, you will be strengthening the party without doing anything extra,” Gideon said.

He said they are planning to effect changes in the secretariat noting that there is a need for fresh blood in the party's leadership to ensure only persons committed to its goals are at the helm.

“We want fresh ideas and people who know where we want to be in 2027. We shall have our elections soon. Next year will not be business as usual. To anyone who wants a particular position, you are free to throw your hat in the ring,” said Gideon.

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda said the outcomes of the last elections left them feeling lost. "We have had to work fast and for a new path as we seek to reposition ourselves."

She called on members to remain loyal to Kanu. "Supporting other political parties and formations will hurt our party and amount to betraying the electorates who supported us," the MP said.

"When voters elect a candidate of a particular party, they do so knowing the candidate will serve them well as a member of that outfit. If you shift your allegiance, you will be doing them an injustice. We must remain loyal to our course,” said Naisula as she warned against joining those abandoning their parties in support of the new administration.

Kenya Kwanza has its owners. We would rather remain in our own house and bargain from there. If there will be a time to move, we are yet to get to that point. I can only urge the members to stay put in Kanu,” said Naisula.

She added that she was enjoying her role in the opposition at the Parliament, saying that this gives them an opportunity to keep the government in check and ensure it fulfils its pledges to her people.

“As leaders from counties where Kanu draws its strength, we must talk with each other, especially on insecurity. We have to work together. It can’t be business as usual. As we engage our people, we must also put the government to task over issues that affect our people,” she said.