Dr.Noah Chekech(waving KANU sign)after he was received by KANU party in mogotio on February 4,2017.He was officially received by senator Moi after vying for mogotio parliamentary seat on jubilee ticket but hope to KANU due to unfavorable conditions from the party. PHOTO:MOSES KIPSANG//STANDARD
The expected backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid by former ruling party Kanu is set to tilt the political dynamics in the Rift Valley region.
The anticipated arrangement where Kanu will field candidates for all elective seats apart from the presidency will create more opportunities for political aspirants seeking party tickets.
Following last year’s resolve to disband URP, which was quite popular in the region in the run-up to 2013 Election, Kanu will attract aspirants as more opt to keep off the merged Jubilee Party (JP) primaries over alleged bias.
Candidates eyeing various seats have crowded JP, raising competition for primaries and making Kanu the easier option in the region.
It is highly expected that Kanu will today convene a special National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to officially throw its weight behind Uhuru in the run-up to the August elections.
Party officials in the North Rift region yesterday said they had received numerous inquiries from political candidates seeking party tickets for various posts.
Kanu to back Uhuru’s re-election
Several candidates have also announced their interest to vie on Kanu the ticket and have already hit the road running to popularise their policies.
“I started my campaigns as early as last year for the senatorial seat in Uasin Gishu County on a Kanu ticket. We chose the party, as a campaign team, because of its good and health working arrangement,” said Mr Geoffrey Chebwai.
Chebwai, a procurement professional, said he did wide consultation and settled on Kanu, noting he did not want to crowd in JP yet there is uncertainty in its nomination process.
“If a candidate is favoured from certain quarters, it will be a waste of time and resources. Even after being promised jobs, all candidates will never be accommodated. I settled on Kanu because of stability, independence and the friendly way it runs its affairs,” said Chebwai in an interview yesterday.
He said the party ideologies are people-centred and that it why “it never broke its house to pursue other interests”.
In Keiyo North constituency in Elgeyo Marakwet County, former auditor with the National Treasury Abraham Kipchumba Kimutai will run for the seat on a Kanu ticket.
“I have made my mind to contest on a Kanu ticket because this is a party that has established internal democracy,” said Kimutai.
He claimed a majority of voters had not clearly understood the essence of independent candidature and that is why he chose Kanu.
“It is not clear if primaries in Jubilee Party will be free and fair. It is important to step aside when there are doubts so that as an aspirant, I can protect the votes cast by my supporters,” he said.
Jonathan Bii, Kanu coordinator for Rift Valley region, said yesterday the independent party will support President Kenyatta’s re-election.
“Our party has remained firm and will not be dissolved. We support Uhuru for a second term but will field candidates for the other seats,” Bii told The Standard yesterday.
Mr Paul Kibet, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Kanu chairman, said the party will vet aspirants to ensure candidates seeking elective positions are popular.
A recent meeting between President Kenyatta and former President Daniel arap Moi raised speculation that Kanu and JP had clinched a working arrangement.
An MP from Uasin Gishu County allied to Deputy President William Ruto however said there should be no speculation on the recent closed-door meeting at Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi.
Mr Silas Tiren, the MP for Moiben, said the resolve to support Ruto for the presidency in 2022 still stands and said there is no problem if Kanu joins to boost the effort.
“We should work as one and if Kanu wants to support Jubilee, it should support it as a whole and not the presidency alone,” said Tiren.
Nandi Senator Stephen Sang said they trust Uhuru will not enter into any political arrangement that may curtail Jubilee unity.