Meru Governor-elect Kawira joins Kenya Kwanza
Meru Governor-elect Kawira Mwangaza has joined President-elect William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza alliance.
Kawira, who was elected on an independent ticket, was received by Ruto at the deputy president's official residence in Karen.
"Thank you Meru County Governor-elect Kawira Mwangaza for choosing to work with Kenya Kwanza to drive Meru and Kenya forward, Karen, Nairobi County," Ruto tweeted on Friday, August 19.
Kawira now joins a growing number of elected leaders joining Ruto after he was declared as President-lect by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Monday, August 15.
Kenya Kwanza receives newly elected leaders
Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition suffered a major blow on Thursday, August 18 after 12 United Democratic Movement (UDM) elected leaders defected to Ruto's camp.
The leaders met with Ruto and pledged to give him support as he prepares to form the next government.
"We salute the United Democratic Movement (UDM) leadership for abandoning Azimio La Umoja and joining Kenya Kwanza.
"UDM Party Leader and Mandera Senator-Elect Ali Roba, Deputy Party Leader and Marsabit Governor-Elect Mohamud Ali, and Mandera Governor-Elect Mohamed Adan Khalif were present at the Karen Residence, Nairobi County," Ruto said shortly after meeting the leaders.
Others in the meeting were Deputy Governor-elect Mandera Ali Maalim, Wajir Senator-elect Abbas Sheikh, MPs Umulkheir Kassim (Mandera), Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North), Kullow Hassan (Banisa), Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis), Mangale Munga Chiforomodo (Lunga Lunga), AbdulEnrahim Haro (Mandera South) and Adan Haji (Mandera West).
The defection to Kenya Kwanza comes days after Azimio's presidential running mate Martha Karua said the coalition had won several seats in the National Assembly.
Before the defections, Azimio had 162 members in both Houses of parliament against Kenya Kwanza's 159.
"Our figures show that we command the National Assembly. Our competitors are up by one in the Senate, but we command the National Assembly. We will meet to execute how we will carry out our mandate," Karua said during a press conference at KICC on Wednesday, August 17.