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Kituyi yet to find footing in local politics

WESTERN
By John Shilitsa | August 17th 2021

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi former UNCTAD Secretary General speaking to journalists after meeting with his supporters at the Thika Greens resort.[Wilberforce Okwiri,Standard]

Mukhisa Kituyi appears to be struggling to find his footing in local politics, months after he declared his presidential bid.

The former Trade Minister, who served in retired President Mwai Kibaki’s administration between 2002 and 2007 quit his secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) position to vie in 2022.

Since he made this announcement, he has suddenly gone quiet, even as the clock ticks fast towards the next General Election.

On Sunday, however, Dr Kituyi was in Kakamega County, his second political engagement locally since he quit the UNCTAD job.

The former Kimilili MP met opinion leaders, aspirants for various elective seats, boda boda riders, representatives from Kakamega town, and a host of former civic leaders at Planet Gardens.

Kituyi says the meeting offered an opportunity for him to share with the leaders his vision and aspirations.

“I wanted them to understand why I feel I have what it takes to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he told The Standard.

Kituyi now wants to appeal to the youth to take active roles in shaping the politics of the country through the ballot in 2022.

“No country can change its political history without involving the youth. Younger people must come out to be players and not spectators in the national liberation of our country. I did it at their age as a university student,” said Kituyi.

He argues that unlike his competitors, he has not been part of the mess in the Jubilee administration and the chaos that rocked the National Super Alliance (NASA).

“I would like to put up a house where all Kenyans can shelter because I am untainted, unlike the rest. I want to bring unity in Kenya’s politics.”

Asked whether he considers himself a serious contender, Kituyi said he was.

“I was not invited to Mombasa statehouse meeting where President Uhuru Kenyatta met former NASA principals with a view to reconcile them. I was not part of the political formation, so we are giving them time to sort out their differences as we weigh options on whether to join forces with them,” he said.

Kituyi said he would unveil a political outfit that would be open to working with other formations.

He steered clear of discussing his relationship with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, but indicated that he would work with ODM leader Raila Odinga “because we have worked together before during the second liberation.”

Kituyi could not explain why it took so long for him to unveil his political party, and how he intends to sell it to Kenyans before the coming polls. Initially, it was believed that Kituyi was behind the coup in Ford-Kenya that almost saw Mr Wetang’ula removed as party leader.

It is not clear whether Kituyi will join the newly formed Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) that was launched in Webuye town recently.

The DAP-K party has dismissed reports that Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has taken over the outfit. David Simiyu Muchele, the party national chairman, termed a letter circulating on social media with purported details of the party’s registration details fake and misleading.

The said letter had the registrars of political parties logo and it listed Wamalwa as the party boss with Tongareni MP Eseli Simiyu as the party’s secretary-general.

But speaking to journalists at DAP-K party headquarters in Webuye town yesterday, he clarified that the information was untrue and pure propaganda.

“The party affirms that DAP–K bonafide leaders are me, the national chairman and acting party leader, Bernard Masanja serves as the secretary-general and Beatrice Mbingi is the treasurer,” said Muchele.

DAP–K also distanced itself from the ongoing leadership wrangles within the Ford Kenya party. 

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