Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s Devolution Empowerment Party and Agriculture CS Peter Munya’s Party of National Unity have said they will end the popularity of Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party in Meru.

On Tuesday, Kiraitu told journalists in his office the DEP party alias Mbus is being rebranded and will field MCAs, MPs, governors, senators and woman rep candidates in 2022 general election.

Munya and Kiraitu have declared to support ODM leader Raila Odinga for president in 2022.

Kiraitu said the party aims to bring together leaders from Mt Kenya East and rally other like-minded leaders for a coalition in fighting and bargaining for the interests of the region’s vote rich residents.

“The Mbus now needs tires and fuel so that it is on the road by next month. It will sweep many seats not only in Mt Kenya East but in the country as well. We will start recruiting grassroots leaders.

“I urge residents to stop rushing into parties. There is need for multiparty to thrive in Kenya. We have community kingpins, this is not tribal but a democratic right,” Kiraitu said.

Munya’s PNU has signed a post-election pact with Jubilee. The party won only one MP seat and a host of MCAs in 2017 general elections.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi leads the UDA brigade in Meru and Mt Kenya East.

Chief of staff Gideon Kimathi, who is gunning to unseat South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi, hinted that the DEP will have a national outlook.

He added that it is retrogressive and utter foolery to see all the Ukambani governors invited at State House by President Uhuru Kenyatta for talks on national politics whereas Meru is nowhere.

“We might be cheated if we don’t take things seriously. When the President is meeting party leaders, we see Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Kivutha Kibwana and Chairity Ngilu (Kitui) in one table but in Meru we are on village politics.

“We will have a party to cater for interests of Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties interests. We must support our leaders. I am serving people under Kiraitu’s administration but I may also vie because I have whatever it takes. I have two degrees,” Kimathi said.

The chief of staff spoke at a church service at Gaatia in South Imenti.

Kathuri has however downplayed DEP saying other Meru leaders were not consulted while constituting the party.

He said area residents are pressuring him to join UDA.

Leaders including senate aspirant Mwiti Kathendu and North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood called on Meru leaders to unite and form a party to rally residents towards 2022.

“We vote as a block, there is need to negotiate as a block but we are currently disintegrated by small local parties.  NOPEU never landed because it seemed to have an agenda to fight Kiraitu and it is a Mikinduri party without a national outlook,” Kathendu said.

Dawood said Meru is ripe for its own party and called on Munya and Kiraitu to work together in preparedness to 2022 general election.

“We had APK (Bus party 2013) which was popular in Mt Kenya East and I wish the two leaders unite so that we can join a coalition of like-minded.

“We do not know how it will go but once the Building Bridges Initiative is passed we should eye for prime minister or deputy prime minister.

The Imenti North MP said the party should have a national outlook like 2013, where Lenny Kivuti was elected Embu Senator, Njagagua elected in Mbeere, Dawood in North Imenti, Kiraitu and Munya as Meru Senator and Governor respectively.

“We need to bring everybody on board and shun divisive politics. We need to carry everybody including NOPEU, PNU, UDA and other party supporters to be part and parcel of crafting the new party,” he said.

By The Star Kenya

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