Two political parties associated with controversial Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Murang’a governor Mwangi Wa Iria have been formed as the battle for the control of Mt Kenya votes heighten.
This follows Mt Kenya political kingpin Uhuru Kenyatta’s expected retirement in 2022. Those propping up the party linked to Mr Kuria say it is aimed at galvanizing the unity of Mt Kenya people.
This week, the Registrar of political Parties Ann Nderitu notified the advocates of Transformational National Alliance Party (TNAP) that the name had been reserved ahead of formal registration.
“Your application has been considered under section 6 of the Political Parties Act, 2011. An application for reservation of name shall be for a period of not more than 90 days,” wrote Ms Nderitu in a letter dated April 24.
The new party has adopted an eagle as its symbol instead of a dove like the defunct TNA and it has “Kazi na Pesa” as its slogan. Late last year, indications were rife that Mr Kuria would adopt the Democratic Party, once led by former president Mwai Kibaki. This was not to be as it is said he received a cold shoulder from the party officials. On its part, the DP has been seeking to rebrand by bringing youthful faces.
The new party revives the memories of The National Alliance Party (TNA) which was formed by President Kenyatta ahead of 2013 elections. The party went on to win the general elections in 2013 after it joined hands with URP of deputy President William Ruto.
The formation of TNAP is an addition to the growing list of political parties that are seeking to reap big in the event that President Kenyatta ends his political career.
It joins Martha Karua’s Narc Kenya, cabinet secretary Peter Munya’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Democratic Party, which was founded by former President Mwai Kibaki in 1991, which have dominated the politics of the region in the recent past. CS Mwangi Kiunjuri’s Grand National Union party and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap also won some seats in the region.
Mr Kuria’s new outfit is aimed at accommodating the leaders in Mt Kenya region who feel orphaned by dissolution of The National Alliance Party which was dissolved alongside 11 other political parties to give way to Jubilee party.
However, the ruling party seems to be in tatters with two factions emerging one associated with the President while the other supporting Mr Ruto. Leaders in Mt Kenya have been registering political parties which they hope to use as bargaining tools in the next government. Civic Renewal Party is associated with Mr Wa Iria. Last week, Mr Wa Iria held a three-hour secret meeting with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka on succession politics with the former on a mission to reach out to other Mt Kenya leaders for unity in readiness of 2022 general election.
Mr Kuria said there was nothing wrong with such a party. “There is nothing wrong with people with 6 million voters organising themselves. We won’t follow the route of Mwai Kibaki, Charles Njonjo and (the late) GG Kariuki who gave up the presidency in 1978 with no plan. We are however not blindsided by raw hate and emotion like Kieleweke,” he said.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungw’a immediately poured cold water on the party.
“Anyone thinking of taking us back to politics of yesteryears that was ethnic based or based on regional ethnic political parties is living in the past. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto had reason to amalgamate all the 14 political parties to form a national party that would transform the nature and conduct of our national politics,” he said.