Friday, December 19, 2008



By Gakuu Mathenge

Intense lobbying, broken expectations and last minute withdrawals marked the final journey to Kasarani in the Party of National Unity.

PNU Program’s Co-ordinator Moses Kuria, who had been eyeing the National Organising Secretary’s position, complained at a Press conference that elderly interests close to State House had hijacked the PNU elections. He claimed they had drawn up a secret line-up of preferred officials ahead of the National Delegates Congress.

Crying foul

He also claimed that former minister Maina Kamanda, had taken his position.

Speaking at PNU headquarters, Ms Fatuma Hassan, former Kibaki Tena women co-ordinator, and a long time Democratic Party activist complained that Cabinet minister, Beth Mugo had knocked her off her bid for National Women Co-ordinator’s position.

"They (ministers and MPs) may have money and fame, but PNU’s die will be cast tomorrow (today). PNU is a party of ministers and MPs, wananchi have no space," Fatuma said.

Mr Kuria said youths might be compelled to decamp from the party.

"The youth have slaved for this party and its leadership, but when it comes to top positions, the wealthy elders do not want to see our faces. We are going to form a party of nobodies," he said at the PNU headquarters.

Kuria blamed the political class for marginalising the youth in the coalition Government, and in party leadership positions.

"President Kibaki, Prof George Saitoti, Mr Yusuf Haji, Mr Hussein Maalim, Prof Sam Ongeri, Mr William ole Ntimama, Mr Henry Kosgey and Mr John Michuki have a combined age of nearly four centuries and they still seek to influence future leadership in this country. When they talk succession, they mean their son and daughters succeeding them. They youth must wake up to this fraud," Kuria said.

Ms Mugo, who had been lobbying for the National Vice-chairperson’s seat, reportedly threw in the towel, after pressure to step down in favour of Gender and Children Minister Esther Murugi.

But when contacted for comment, Mugo said she had not pulled out of the race, but "merely switched her contest from National Vice-chairlady- Strategy and Research, to National Chairlady, PNU Women Co-ordinator".

Asked what caused the change of mind, Mugo said women were a strong constituency in any party.