After months of waiting and speculation, Governor Lee Kinyanjui is finally expected to launch his Ubuntu Peoples Forum (UPF) party in the first week of February.
“The wait is over. Our supporters in Nakuru and across the country have invested a lot of faith in the party and I want to assure them that [it] will be launched, at the latest, in the first week of February,” Mr Kinyanjui said. Campaign materials were ready, he added.
He added: "All the sticky issues that had not been sort-ed out are now in place and the grand launch is the next big thing we shall do in the next couple of weeks."
Mr Kinyanjui said that all the campaign materials are now ready
The governor, who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket in 2017, will use UPF to defend his seat against a spirited onslaught by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) luminary, Senator Susan Kihika, in what is expected to be one of the toughest gubernatorial races in the cosmopolitan county.
Mr Kinyanjui, who expressed confidence of retaining his seat, said that the delay in launching the party was due to the pending Political Parties (Amendment) Bill that is before the Senate.
“It will determine whether our campaign materials will only have our party slogans or will also bear others affiliated to Azimio La Umoja Movement,” the governor said.
"This Bill has some implications and we're waiting to make a final decision whether the campaign materials will include exclusively our party slogans or will bear both the UPF and other parties’ slogans affiliated to Azimio La Umoja Movement," said Mr Kinyanjui.
Since he started accompanying ODM Leader Raila Odinga while campaigning for his Azimio La Umoja Movement including the launch of the movement in Nakuru, Governor Kinyanjui has galvanised the support of Azimio la Umoja followers in Nakuru County.
"The followers of Azimio La Umoja Movement in Na-kuru seem more united behind Governor Kinyanjui and that is a big boost for him ahead of the August 9 General Election," said Mr Andrew Nyabuti, a political analyst in Nakuru Town.
"With the entrance of the Azimio La Umoja Movement, the Nakuru gubernatorial race is now neck and neck and the incumbent may have the last laugh," he added.
According to the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill , one of the sticky issues that many parties face is to have a register and only party members within that register should participate in the nominations.
Mr Kinyanjui assured aspirants who will vie on UPF party ticket of fair nomination.
"Nominations can make or break a party and UPF will strive to conduct a free and fair party primaries," said Mr Kinyanjui.