Wafula Wamunyinyi

Democratic Action Party of Kenya leader Wafula Wamunyinyi addresses delegates at Bomas of Kenya.

| Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga hand in new regional parties

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are reportedly propping up regional parties to counter the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) and other opponents.

Yesterday, the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), associated with Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, was launched in Nairobi with rebel Ford Kenya MPs installed as national officials.

It will rival Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford-K, which is affiliated to One Kenya Alliance (OKA), alongside Wiper, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Kanu.

Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and Tongaren’s Eseli Simiyu – who unsuccessfully attempted a coup in Ford-K – were named party leader and secretary general, respectively.

Parties allying themselves to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga’s have sprung up lately.

They are expected to be part of the coalition the two leaders are forging.

At least four Cabinet Secretaries have been involved in new parties, suggesting the President’s tacit endorsement. They are among the 11 parties that have backed Mr Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid.

Apart from Mr Wamalwa, who was present during the launch of DAP-K at Bomas of Kenya, other ministers linked to small outfits are Mr Peter Munya of Agriculture (Party of National Unity), National Treasury’s Ukur Yatani (Upya Movement in Northern Kenya) and Dr Fred Matiang’i of Interior  (United Progressive Alliance).

Other parties that have openly supported Mr Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja Movement are Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s Narc, Maendeleo Chap Chap of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Ubuntu Peoples’ Forum led by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo’s Kenya Union Party, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi’s Pan African Alliance, Devolution Empowerment Party of Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana’s Muungano Party of Kenya.

Mr Wamalwa said the DAP-K “will promote the unity that President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga stand for”.

He said there are only two horses in the 2022 presidential contest – Deputy President William Ruto and Mr Odinga.

“I want to tell my brother Musalia Mudavadi (the ANC leader) that he will not be in the next government if he remains in OKA,” he said.

Mr Munya said their parties would be part of the Azimio la Umoja Movement.

“Azimio la Umoja resulted from the handshake between President Kenyatta and Odinga. We must take it forward and build one Nation,” the Agriculture CS said.

Mr Wamunyinyi said Ford-K “has become the face of impunity and suffocation of democratic space and ideals”.

“Our stay in the forum for the destruction of democracy was no longer tenable,” he said.

Mr Odinga hopes to bank on the Upya Movement, for instance, to lock Dr Ruto from Northern Kenya.

The parties of Makueni, Kitui and Machakos county bosses are challenging Wiper in Lower Eastern.

Mr Wamalwa’s party is expected to take on Ford-Kenya in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties.

It will also work with Mr Odinga’s ODM to counter Mr Mudavadi’s ANC in Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, who attended the DAP-K launch, said he would work with other leaders to ensure Mr Odinga emerges victorious in Western Kenya.

Jubilee, PNU and Mr Murungi’s party are expected to challenge UDA in Mt Kenya.

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