Raila Odinga's Chief Campaigner Ejected From Party

  • Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga addresses the journalists with after 30 governors who backed his presidential bid.
    Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga addresses the journalists with after 30 governors who backed his presidential bid.
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  • Laikipia Governor, Ndiriitu Muriithi, who was recently appointed as the Chairman of Raila Odinga's campaign board, is embroiled in a vicious war to control the Party of National Unity (PNU).

    A notice that appeared in the dailies on Wednesday, January 18, stated that the first-term Governor is not a member of PNU and is not authorised to speak on its behalf or represent it in any meeting.

    Further, the statement signed by PNU Secretary General, John Okemwa Anunda, revealed that an advert that appeared in the papers on Saturday, January 15, announcing the recruitment of aspirants wishing to seek elective seats through the party was null and void because it had not been sanctioned.

    Okemwa added that he is the only party official who is allowed to call for meetings of that nature.

    "Once the party leadership meets and sanctions such meetings, a notice will be published and circulated by the Office of the Secretary General, who according to the Party Constitution, is mandated to convene such meetings," the statement read in part.

    File image Party of National Union Secretary-General John Okemwa Anunda (right) with his lawyer.
    File image Party of National Union Secretary-General John Okemwa Anunda (right) with his lawyer.
    Capital Group

    While Muriithi is yet to give an official response to his ejection from PNU, the decision to kick him out has exposed the supremacy battle in the party.

    According to multiple media reports, the party is split into two factions. One is allied to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya, while the second faction supports Muriithi. 

    PNU Chairman, Eng. David Kamau, is an ally of Muriithi while Secretary General John Okemwa Anunda has close ties with Munya.

    Other party officials are reportedly divided on whether to support CS Munya or Muriithi to lead the party.

    The party leader position has been vacant since 2019 when PNU elected other officials but failed to install a substantive head. At the time, neither Munya nor Muriithi could be picked as the party leader since the two were serving either as Cabinet Secretary and Governor elected on an independent ticket respectively.

    After being picked to lead Raila Odinga's campaign team, Muriithi acknowledged his appointment and revealed that he will defend his seat on a PNU party ticket. 

    He explained that his support for Raila Odinga should not be misinterpreted to mean that he had joined the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

    “I’m honoured that they have picked me as chairman of the campaign team. Raila is a visionary leader who I will support. But, I will be vying on a PNU ticket,” he stated.

    A photo of Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi addressing residents during the release of the county's annual financial report, in Nanyuki on September 5, 2019.
    Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi addressing residents during the release of the county's annual financial report, in Nanyuki on September 5, 2019.
    Daily Nation