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Biwott finds a new home

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – Former President Moi’s confidant Nicholas Biwott has made a political comeback after lost bids to clinch a position in ex-ruling party KANU.

Mr Biwott, who is popularly referred to as ‘The Total Man’ was endorsed as Party Leader of the month-old National Vision Party (NVP) at a National Delegates Conference held at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday.

Over 4000 delegates drawn from across the country unanimously elected the former Keiyo South Member of Parliament (MP), who ditched KANU last week after protracted leadership wrangles with Party Chairman Uhuru Kenyatta.

Taking up the position, Mr Biwott said he would now move to popularise the party ahead of the 2012 general elections.

“Let us, as party, not engage in reckless rhetoric but build on ideas that will help Kenyans enjoy better lives. Politics should be about ideas not personalities,” he told the delegates.

The Total Man challenged Mr Kenyatta in KANU national elections in 2005 but failed to capture the party’s leadership. He tried again in 2006 when he championed a boardroom coup on claims that the Deputy Prime Minister along with other office bearers had defected to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and failed again.

The latest bid was last month when he attempted to have KANU create the position of Party Leader for him. This was dismissed by Mr Kenyatta.

The former powerful Minister in Moi’s government joined politics in 1974, when he ran as MP but was defeated. Mr Biwot was however successful in his second attempt in 1979 and served until last year’s general election where he lost to Jackson Kiptanui, a first timer.

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At the NVP delegates conference former Cabinet Minister Sammy Leshore was also elected as Chairman. The elections were aimed at ensuring that the party complies with the Political Parties Act.

Political parties have up to next week to comply with the new law or face deregistration. Several parties have so far complied with the Act including ODM-K, Narc Kenya, PICK and the Democratic Party among others.

The Political Parties Act seeks to strengthen parties by providing guidelines for registration, funding and dispute resolution.

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