Uhuru finally quits top Kanu post as rivals eye party assets

Thursday April 12 2012

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) on April 12, 2012 announced that he was bowing out of the Kanu chairmanship. Photo/FILE

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) on April 12, 2012 announced that he was bowing out of the Kanu chairmanship. Photo/FILE 

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected]

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday announced that he was bowing out of the Kanu chairmanship.

Mr Kenyatta, who termed Saturday's delegate’s conference as a “gathering”, did not say whether he would attend but criticised the organisers.

Mr Kenyatta said his decision not to defend the chairmanship was in order to comply with the law.

In the statement, Mr Kenyatta said the party’s secretary general Nick Salat had failed to honour most of the agreements Kanu had reached since last year.

He said that he had called the NDC twice but called it off because of sideshows instigated by Mr Salat, “who has been an obstacle to the process of compliance.”

“I am happy to see people who have been an impediment to the party resurgence start to take steps towards this endeavour. These individuals should desist from sideshows and the wild allegations they are now making in this regard and instead put their efforts towards full compliance of Kanu. It is this insincerity and double speak that has been our greatest challenge in building Kanu,” Mr Kenyatta said.

He went on: “Such behaviour is inconsistent with a party that seeks to form the next government. It is, therefore, my hope that the gathering called by the secretary general this Saturday will tackle these issues.”

The Deputy Prime Minister also said that in compliance with the new laws, he would not seek any party position as he intended to vie for the presidency. State officers are barred from holding positions in political parties.

Earlier Thursday, Mr Salat called a press conference where it emerged that the two factions are involved in a tussle over the control of the party’s assets estimated at hundreds of millions of shillings.

Mr Salat expressed fears that the issue of assets could be at the centre of the wrangles, adding that some delegates who were to attend Saturday's NDC had received threats as part of a larger scheme to ensure that Kanu was deregistered.

“Kanu has a lot of assets including the KICC which belongs to us and was taken away from us. Some of these assets have been sold and others being misused at the moment. We need to trace all this property and ensure that it is safe,” Mr Salat said at the Kanu headquarters.