Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 15:46 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Meru Governor Peter Munya and his deputy Raphael Muriungi will go their seperate ways in the 2017 general elections. A former MP, Mr Muriungi has announced his intention to join the Democratic Party (DP) on whose ticket he plans to contest his old Igembe South parliamentary seat. The two leaders were elected on the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), which will be dissolved alongside 11 other political parties to form the Jubilee Party.
Mr Muriungi has expressed disappointment at his decision to become deputy governor in 2013, saying the position has not utilised his skills. Speaking at Makutano shopping centre of Meru Town with other DP officials during the opening of new party offices, Mr Muriungi said he would remain loyal to his current boss until the end of their mandate. “I have decided to go back to the National Assembly and serve my people from there because that is where my leadership will be felt. In my current job I have little tangible work to do because the Senate refused to pass a law that would define the work of the deputy governor well”, he said.
The DP has urged aspirants who are afraid of losing out on the new Jubilee Party nominations to join it, assuring them of the party’s support during the elections. According to the party's national chairman Essau Kioni, the merger of many parties to form the Jubilee Party will be a big setback to the achievements of democracy in Kenya, saying that DP, which was formed in 1991, is more than two decades old and "cannot be folded that easily".
“DP has not offered any aspirants a direct nomination. We are welcoming new members who are afraid of the party autocracy that would result from the merger of the Jubilee affiliates on top of the new amendments to the Elections Act to bar last minute party hopping”, said Kioni, who was accompanied by regional chairman Peter Ndubai, Secretary General Jacob Haji and Mr Muriungi.
The revival of DP in Meru has stirred the region's politics given that Governor Munya is also keen on taking over the Party of National Unity (PNU) while Senator Kiraitu Murungi is fronting for the Jubilee Party. All the three camps are currently identifying their leadership line-up, with DP and PNU seemingly best organised and represented at the grassroots.
On the DP side, Ms Elizabeth Kailemia who emerged second in last general elections will go for the women representative position and former ODM member Mugambi Imanyara has been identified for the Senate seat. Mr Peter Ndubai will gun for Tigania West parliamentary seat and KUPPET deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima for Imenti Central seat.
On the PNU side, Mr Munya will seek re-election while County CEC in charge of water and natural resources Mary Mwiti will vie for the women representative position and Anderson Kathendu the Senate seat. County CECs Martin Bikuri (lands and planning) will gun for the North Imenti parliamentary seat, Jenaro Guantai (agriculture) for Imenti South, Jacob Kirera (finance) for Buuri, Ntoitha M’Mithiaru (cooperatives) for Igembe North, County Secretary Julius Kimathi for Central Imenti and Chief of Staff James Mutia for Igembe Central.
On the Jubilee Party, Mr Murungi will seek to oust Mr Munya from the governor’s mansion, with current women representative Florence Kajuju retaining her position while Hon. Mithika Linturi will gun for the Senate seat to be vacant. With Mr Murungi leading the Jubilee Party's battle against Mr Munya, it is believed that Dr Kilemi Mwiria who came second to Munya in 2013 has been prevailed upon to leave politics for future presential appointments.
Current ODM MPs Kubai Kiringo (Igembe Central) and Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East) have indicated their intention to defect to Jubilee.