National Assembly Speaker and Democratic Party leader Justin Muturi has cautioned against joining political coalitions ahead of the August 9 General Election.
Mr Muturi said small parties should not be forced to join the emerging coalitions but be allowed to build their base at the grassroots so that they can grow into national outfits.
He recalled how several parties were collapsed in the run-up to the 2017 polls so as to form Jubilee and boost President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid.
In 2013, President Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) party united with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) to form government.
“You have recently seen several political parties forming coalitions. The coalitions coming up will be similar to what happened to us on March 23, 2002. President Uhuru and I were once in Kanu and tried to build it but we did not succeed,” he added.
The DP leader was addressing delegates and leaders at a Nanyuki hotel on Saturday.
Azimio la Umoja, led by ODM leader Raila Odinga, has recently been embracing and wooing various parties to join their camp so as to clinch the presidency.
Kenya Kwanza has brought together DP Ruto (United Democratic Alliance), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya.
Mr Muturi argued that small parties should be given the democratic space to grow and field candidates in various political positions in the forthcoming elections.
“There is no problem with having regional political parties because everyone must have their political base. The parties must, however, fledge their roots countrywide and convince Kenyans on their policies,” Mr Muturi said.
“In Parliament, I have been studying the various parties and realised that majority of them have strong bases in various regions,” he added.
He maintained that DP will neither join Azimio nor Kenya Kwanza, but will instead vie for the country’s top seat solely.
Mr Muturi expressed optimism that he will not only defeat his competitors but also win various elective seats in the elections.
“There are those saying that I have joined the race when it is too late. Let them know that kutangulia sio kufika [taking a lead in a race doesn’t guarantee victory]”.
He lauded the President for exemplary work in improving the country’s infrastructure, but decried that the citizens have been suffering from high cost of living.
“We have for the past 15 years focused on improving our infrastructure. If elected in August, I want to ensure that money trickles down to the common mwananchi at the grassroots. We will factor in the economic well-being of the citizen,” Mr Muturi said.
He promised to tame corruption in government and ensure that majority of top seats are awarded to competent youth.
“The youth comprise 70 per cent of our population and they are learned. These are the people that should be given the opportunity to propel this country to greater heights. I want to give them an enabling environment to serve the country,” the DP leader said.
“This is a country where we have been budgeting for corruption. We have wasted billions of shillings investigating corruption and this is a dragon we have been fighting since 1963. Over the years, the Auditor-General has been raising alarm over rampant corruption but little is being done to tame it. It is only a fool that does things the same way repeatedly and expecting different results,” he added.