NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – The National Alliance Party (TNA) says it will not hand out direct nomination to any of the seven aspirants who have declared interest in the party ticket ahead of the Kajiado-Central by election slated for March 12.
The party’s Secretary General Onyango Oloo says the nomination slated for next week will be conducted through secret ballot and will be free and fair.
“Our logistics are up to date… we are prepared for this by-election. We have no preferred candidates and we are appealing to the party leadership, MPs and MCAs to stop declaring their preferred candidates until after the nominations when we shall ask them to rally behind our flag bearer,” Oloo said.
Party Chairman Johnson Sakaja says the Jubilee Coalition will back the candidate nominated by TNA.
“Kajiado County, according to us and according to facts, is the biggest stronghold of TNA, it is our fortress; and so we have felt this is an election that we cannot take lightly,” said Sakaja.
The TNA chairman added: “We are glad we have been able to get (Joseph) Nkaiserry in the Cabinet so that we can get our seat back.”
Kajiado County has three constituencies which predominantly voted for candidates sponsored by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition except Nkaiserry and Kajiado County Governor David Nkedianye who ran on an ODM ticket.
The party is scheduled to hold a meeting with all the aspirants on Thursday ahead of the nominations.
The seat fell vacant after Nkaiserry resigned to take up his appointment as the country’s Interior Cabinet Secretary.
IEBC set January 29 as the deadline for parties to finalise their nominations and determine intra-party disputes.
Nomination papers are to be submitted on February 16 and 17, the official campaign period being from February 18 to March 14.
According to Sakaja, the ‘status conference’ to be held at the party headquarters is meant for the aspirants to be taken through the party’s code of conduct, and also to agree on the strategies to be used in picking the party’s flag bearer as well as ensure there are no fallouts.
There have been reports that the some of the old party members have threatened to defect because the party officials are planning to poach newcomers who they believe stand a better chance to deliver the seat.
Jubilee Coalition Chip Whip in the National Assembly Katoo ole Metito and Kajiado County TNA Parton Taraiya Kores who has been tasked with spearheading the grassroots campaign ruled out any fallout among candidates after the nominations.
“We are set and our brothers in ODM should forget the Kajiado Central seat because it is already TNA’s,” said Kores.
Patrick Tutui, Leina Mpoke, Anthony Kiroken, Elijah Memusi Kanchori and Joice Leteipan, the only woman in the contest have so far declared their interest to be TNA’s flag bearer.
Meanwhile an ODM delegation led by the party leader Raila Odinga and National Executive Council will on Wednesday conduct a two week party popularisation campaign to bolster ODM’s chances of recapturing the seat.
Odinga is expected to hold meetings with grassroots leaders on Wednesday.
The team that includes chairman John Mbadi, Secretary-General Ababu Namwamba will pitch tent in Kajiado Central to counter the ruling Jubilee Coalition.