Kiraitu Murungi's DEP joins William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza Alliance

President-elect William Ruto with former Meru Governor Kiraitu Muriungi.

President-elect William Ruto when he received the leadership of the Devolution Empowerment Party at Karen, Nairobi, led by former Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

Photo credit: DPPS

Former Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) has joined President-elect William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

The 13 MCAs of the Meru County Assembly elected on the DEP ticket and 13 elected on the United Democratic Alliance ticket made the move after a meeting at Dr Ruto’s Karen residence Friday morning, according to a top DEP official.

"We welcome the Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) to Kenya Kwanza. Their resolve to work with us is an indication that leaders agree that the interests of Kenyans override our personal or party interests" Dr Ruto said on Twitter after the meeting.

Before the August 9 elections, Mr Murungi braved a barrage of attacks from UDA followers and the party wave in Meru with Dr Ruto urging him to abandon Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja coalition but he stayed put.

Initially dismissed as a political novice, Ms Kawira Mwangaza (Independent) handed Mr Murungi a shocking defeat in the elections. Ms Mwangaza immediately joined Kenya Kwanza.

Ms Mwangaza who had served as Woman Rep since 2017 pulled a surprise by garnering 209,148 votes against her closest challenger, former senator Mithika Linturi who got 183,859 votes while Mr Murungi garnered 110,814 votes.

DEP got 13 seats against UDA’s 12 and after postponement of Nyaki West ward elections following anomalies in the ballot papers, DEP hoped to win the seat and command a majority at the assembly.

Former Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

Devolution Empowerment Party leader Kiraitu Murungi (second right), former Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti (right) with supporters and other party officials in Embu during a past function.

Photo credit: George Munene I Nation Media Group

However, Frederick Mubichi (UDA) won the seat, resulting in a tie of 13 seats each for the two parties. This was a repeat of the 2017 elections when Jubilee Party and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya’s Party of National Unity (PNU) tied at 13 seats each.

 In the August elections, Mr Murungi’s DEP secured 13 MCA seats, UDA (13), Jubilee (six), PNU (five), Independent (five), National Ordinary People’s Empowerment Union (Nopeu) (two), DP (one) and DPK (one).