Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi yesterday launched his Devolution Empowerment Party as the scramble by small political outfits to have a piece of the cake in next year's election intensifies.
During the launch at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, Mr Murungi said the new political vehicle will give the people of Meru and Mt Kenya East a better bargaining power in next year's election. He was accompanied by officials of the party and leaders and delegates from across the country. He said DEP will offer an opportunity for all, and act as a bridge between political leaders and voters.
The DEP is Mr Murungi’s seventh party and perhaps the last in his illustrious political career.
Besides his record of going into every election for a new party, Murungi also holds an unbeaten record in his political career. He was in Ford Kenya in 1992, DP in 1997, Narc in 2002, PNU in 2007, APK in 2013 and Jubilee Party in 2017.
Mr Murungi said the party, besides teaming up with outfits that will form government next year, will also promote the creation of wealth and prosperity and uplift historically disempowered segments of society.
“We are entering a critical season of political negotiations and bargaining. The Bus cannot afford to be left out of those negotiations,” he said. “The Bus will be our strong voice in post-Uhuru political dispensation. The Bus must enter the field and play its part in shaping Kenya’s future.”
DEP joins the list of small political parties that have been mushrooming across the country as the 2022 election nears.
Alliance Party of Kenya
The new party has inherited the bus symbol from Mr Murungi's Alliance Party of Kenya that folded, alongside other parties, to form the Jubilee Party ahead of the 2017 election.
Governor Murungi, who has since cast his lot with ODM leader Raila Odinga in President Uhuru Kenyatta succession plans, yesterday castigated leaders he said were promoting the politics and culture of handouts that has robbed many youths of their rightful place in leadership.
"We in the Bus reject the culture of tokenism, empty promises and endless journeys to nowhere. The Bus party will be a voice of the people deeply rooted in our villages as we seek realistic and practical solutions to famine, unemployment and poverty."
The party's national chairman Lenny Kivuti said the launch of the DEP marked the beginning of a new journey for the Mt Kenya East region and the country, saying the new party will be part of the team of winners next year.
"We are not going back on our journey as Bus. I want to assure you that Bus will field candidates for all seats, except the presidency. We will field a presidential candidate in 2027,” Mr Kivuti said.
Igembe North MP and Jubilee Party's deputy majority whip in the National Assembly Maoka Maore said the launch of the party months to the polls was timely.
"Timing for any move you make matters a lot and the Bus party has just proved that. As Jubilee, we welcome this decision. Even the President was aware of this launch," he said.