Central Kenya leaders led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria seems headed to the Democratic Party (DP) in what may accelerate the divisions in the ruling Jubilee Party.
On Friday Mr Kuria posted a picture of the party’s flag and lamp symbol and later posted that DP will be the party of choice for leaders in Mt Kenya.
“To all my detractors out there, let us meet at the grassroots. DP is the party of the region. We leave the others to (Nominated MP Maina) Kamanda,” Kuria said in his post.
A section of DP’s leadership, led by Deputy Secretary General Wambugu Nyamu, opposed Mr Kuria’s move and affiliation but later retracted their statement.
Mr Nyamu said they were rejecting Mr Kuria’s move since he had not made a formal application or contacted the DP leadership.
“Kuria had publicly indicated he wants to join our party without informing us. He even formed a WhatsApp group named Democratic Party on Friday morning. But he later called the chairman on phone and was welcomed and allowed to publicise the party,” said Mr Nyamu.
He disclosed that Mr Kuria is permitted to promote the party and its stands such as support for the political truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The Gatundu South MP is known for his controversial remarks, the most recent being when he blamed President Kenyatta for failing to initiate development projects in Central Kenya.
When contacted, DP National Chairman Esau Kioni said that the MP had not called him but added that Mr Kuria is welcome to the 27-year-old political party.
“Kuria’s support is welcome though according to the law, he would lose his seat in Parliament if he ditches Jubilee formally. There are many other politicians including sitting elected leaders and those who lost in the last election who have shown interest in joining DP,” said Mr Kioni.
But he was quick to point out that Mr Kuria may have made his intention public to test the opinion of his supporters.
He said the party’s national executive council (NEC) held a meeting in Nairobi and passed a resolution to rebrand and prepare for the 2022 elections.
Mr Kioni said DP will field a presidential candidate to face off with other aspirants who include Deputy President William Ruto.
Hotelier Patrick Munene Kairu, who is also a member of the party and who unsuccessfully vied for the Nyeri governor’s seat in the last election, said the DP national office resolved to embrace Mr Kuria because of his huge following in Mt Kenya and his outspoken nature.
“We are also reaching out to Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and his PNU, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Nairobi politician Peter Kenneth to dissolve their parties and join us so that we can form one formidable political outfit,” said Mr Kairu.
He said that a host of sitting MPs, senators and governors have approached the party silently seeking membership as they prepare for 2022 elections.
Though the party officials decline to reveal the names of these politicians, sources told the Nation that among those who have approached DP are businessman Jimmy Wanjigi, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo, Mr Kenneth and Mr Kamanda.
Others mentioned are former Kirinyaga Senator Daniel Karaba, his rival Charles Kibiru and former Murang’a senator Kembi Gitura.
The source also said the party, which refused to dissolve to join Jubilee, is receiving funding from wealthy politicians and entrepreneurs from Central Kenya.
On Mr Kuria’s intention to vie for presidency in 2022, Mr Kioni said his party cannot assure him the ticket but he will have to compete with other candidates who will seek the DP ticket.