, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – The Kenya African National Union (KANU) is currently in the process of revamping itself ahead of the forthcoming general elections, saying it is the party to watch.
The party, which has already declared its intention to work with other like-minded political groupings, argues the Party of National Unity (PNU) alliance is bound to fail and it’s necessary for the partner parties to seek other alternatives in order to survive the political heat.
Speaking to Capital News on Tuesday, Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat argued that President Kibaki’s failure to associate with PNU and endorse a presidential hopeful within the alliance proved that it was a sinking ship.
He further revealed that the party had opened its doors to more than 20 other political movements in the country, an indication that Kanu was pulling away from the PNU alliance.
The party will retain its acronym but change its name to the Kenya Alliance for National Unity to enable other parties join it.
“The PNU alliance was formed to assist the outgoing president and his absence, given that he was the flag bearer, is bound to make it irrelevant. His failure to endorse a candidate is another indication that PNU torch bearers will have to look for alternatives,” he noted.
Some of the parties set to merge with Kanu include the People’s Democratic Party, Shirikisho Party, Democratic Party and Ford People.
He also said that the PNU alliance lacked clarity.
Salat added that Kanu would decide on the most probable way forward after holding its national delegates’ conference, scheduled for next month. During the conference party chairman Uhuru Kenyatta will reveal which political groupings the party will merge with for the polls.
“He will use the opportunity to come and tell us the friends he has found so that the things that need to be ironed out can be put before the delegates themselves,” he explained.
Kanu’s National Executive Council will also hold a meeting on January 5 to identify the areas of their constitution that need amendment, release the dates of their recruitment drives also the dates of appointing new office bearers.
Salat also said that the party’s presidential ticket was open to party members noting that Kenyatta, Francis Atwoli – Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General – and Agricultural Finance Corporation Chairman Kipruto arap Kirwa had shown interest.
He added that Kanu intended to sell itself, as the party of choice, to the general public and therefore had to distance itself from the perception that it was an undemocratic party.
“So far it is free for anyone who wants to contest and at the moment there is no preferred candidate. If those who want to contest forward their names during the national delegates’ conference, then we will have the normal nominating process before voting takes place,” he explained.
Last month, several MPs allied to the Party of National Unity snubbed a meeting meant to come up with rules of a joint nomination process and instead attended a meeting under the United Democratic Party Movement banner.
The movement says its flag bearer will not be handpicked and will have to be nominated by the party members.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has also refurbished his Orange Democratic Movement – Kenya party and renamed it the Wiper Democratic Movement.