26 November 2012

Kenya: Uhuru Faces Rebellion Over Alliance Talks

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta's alliance, seems to be falling apart after he and his coalition partners failed to reach a compromise over how they will share power.

Parties which have expressed their willingness to forming an alliance with Uhuru's TNA are United Republic Party which is led by former Cabinet Minister William Ruto, Mvita MP Najib Balala's Republican Council , Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa's New Ford-Kenya, Charity Ngilu's Narc and PNU which has already dissolved into TNA.

The New-Ford Kenya Leader Eugene Wamalwa broke ranks with Uhuru after he was upset that Uhuru wanted to make Eldoret North MP William Ruto his running mate instead of the Saboti MP who has all along been hoping he will be tipped for this.

Wamalwa spent the weekend with Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo holding rallies in parts of western Kenya where he announced his departure from Uhuru's alliance claiming that he is being treated like a "junior parker."

"We are not going to be treated as junior partners in any political alliance. What my colleagues in G7 are doing is unacceptable and we must tell them so," said Wamalwa yesterday during a rally in Matunda.

Wamalwa follows Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi who has openly expressed his displeasure over Uhuru's style of politics. Yesterday Kiraitu told the Star that his Alliance Party of Kenya was fed up with the alliance talk and has now decided to go it alone.

"The Bus party has had enough of alliance talk. We will not enter into any alliance with any party so we are preparing for elections with our aspirants across the country," said Kiraitu yesterday.

Kiraitu said the party will field its candidates in all constituencies and considers TNA to be one of its many rivals. Ruto is also faced with difficulties trying to convince the electorate in Rift Valley about the deal he is negotiating with Uhuru.

Some of the region's MPs have said they will openly disown and campaign against the deal. They accuse Ruto of entering negotiations for his own personal benefit and not because it was the best option for the community.

In Central region, several other MPs from the region are behind the scenes complaining of being coerced to support TNA for fear of what is being described as "political consequence."

GNU leader Mwangi Kiunjuri who has been critical of the pressure that non-TNA party officials and leaders have been put under, is later this week expected to announce his party's decision not to ally itself with Uhuru.

"TNA does not need an alliance with us. instead it wants GNU to dissolve and that is not negotiable. We are moving on with our plans and TNA can go ahead with its style of politics. Our party members will decide at the ballot which aspirant to pick," Kiunjuri said yesterday.

Several MPs who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity as they were afraid of the consequences of coming out and openly criticizing TNA and Uhuru said they had received threats that their political careers would be at an end if they did not support TNA and Uhuru.

"I was told to my face that I have to be fully in the party or else the TNA campaign against my re-election," an MP from one of the constituencies in Kiambu said.

He declined to be identified as he feared the repercussions.Since receiving the threats, he has been robustly campaigning for Uhuru and TNA.

Other leaders who have stood up against the 'politics of coercion' are Gichuru MP Martha Karua and Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth who are in the race for the presidency as the nominees of their parties-- Narc Kenya and Kenya National Congress, respectively.

Uhuru has since denied threatening Central province politicians who are not supporting TNA. In a statement sent through his director of communications Munyori Buku a fortnight ago, Uhuru denied issuing threats.

He however asked Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni and assistant minister Nderitu Muriithi to desist from "spreading falsehoods that he (Uhuru) cannot be elected President because he is a Kikuyu." The two MPs are supporting Musalia Mudavadi's UDF.

Yesterday former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga whose intention to ally his Mkenya Solidarity Movement with TNA has been rebuffed, accused Uhuru of arrogance which he said might cost him a clear win during the elections.

Speaking at a rally in Kiandutu slums in Thika where he opened a party office, Njenga said it was 'totally unwise" for TNA and Uhuru to dismiss the votes that MSM could bring to TNA.

"If TNA and Uhuru are ignoring your support where will they get votes from," he said. Njenga said that by the time Uhuru woke up from his "slumber" he will realize he had lost over five million voters.

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