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Small parties net defectors over fear of unfair primaries

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua (right) receives Gitobu Imanyara after the former Imenti Central MP joined Maendeleo Chap Chap party. [Photo: Beverlyne Musili/Standard]

Small parties are positioning themselves to reap from anticipated fallout in the primaries of the top political outfits.

With less than a month to the party nominations, there have been quite a number of high-profile defections from Jubilee Party and the National Super Alliance (NASA).

Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua was the latest party to receive a high-profile defector, when former Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara announced he had crossed over from the Orange Democratic Movement.

The Party of National Unity is also seeking to chip away the influence of Jubilee in Mt Kenya East region.

And Coast-based small parties – Kadu Asili, Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) and Shirikisho Party – view ODM, Wiper and Jubilee as “parties for other regions”.

Other small parties angling to benefit from possible fallout in big parties include Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), newly launched Economic Freedom Party (EFP) in northeastern region, Nyanza’s Federal Party of Kenya, the Citizens’ Conventions Party and the Green Congress Party of Kenya.

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Speaking Wednesday when he was received by Governor Mutua at the party headquarters in Lavington, Nairobi, Mr Imanyara said he made the decision to join Chap Chap after making wide consultations with his supporters and having received blessings from the Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders.

Imanyara said he would vie for the Imenti Central parliamentary seat on an MCC party ticket, adding that he would support the re-election of President Kenyatta come the August polls.

“Now quite voluntarily I am facing Mt Kenya, unlike some year’s back when I was forced by some abductors to declare my support for Uhuru,” said Imanyara.

He added that he had decided to keep off the acrimony in other political alliances and settled on Chap Chap.

Party of hope

“I have decided to join a party that gives hope to the people of Meru. Its leadership is visionary and development-conscious,” said Imanyara.

“Hundreds of aspirants are eyeing the Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket to vie for various elective posts come the general election. The party is receiving immense interest from across the country, “ said Mutua.

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He said already aspirants from as far as Mandera, Turkana, Lamu, Bungoma, Busia, West Pokot, Wajir, Marsabit, Narok, Kisii, Migori, Nyeri, Garissa, Mombasa and Kilifi were trooping the party headquarters in Nairobi to seek the MCC ticket.

Some of the big names that have ditched Jubilee for MCC are nominated Senator Emma Mbura, Uhuru’s advisor Kilemi Mwiria, Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti, Mbeere North MP Charles Njagagua, Embu Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi and 15 sitting Embu MCAs

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