‘Please accept me’ – Nick Salat ditches Azimio for Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza
Embattled KANU Secretary General Nick Salat on Sunday, January 15, 2023, severed ties with the party a month after his suspension over alleged misconduct.
Salat ditched the party affiliated with the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition and pledged allegiance to President William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance during an interdenominational church service bringing together high-ranking government officials at the Bomet Green stadium in Bomet county.
Salat, who has been in the cold for about 15 years, apologised for going against the grain to campaign for Azimio in the region in the last general election.
He pledged to start campaigning for Ruto to ensure he gets his two five-year terms in power.
"I am now in the government and I have suffered outside for a long time," Salat said.
"I know you will be President for 10 years. I saw the great reception that you were accorded in Nyanza and I cannot be left behind. Wherever you are, I will be. I have suffered too long, please accept me back," Salat pleaded with Ruto while referring to the warm reception the Head of State was accorded during his working tour of three Nyanza counties recently.
🤝 pic.twitter.com/DILSdMVhVJ— Hon. Nick Salat (@HonNickSalat) January 15, 2023
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, who attended the function, urged the President to accept to work with the outspoken politician.
"I was with Nick in KANU where we worked on the Uhuru project. You are a good leader who was used and dumped but in Ruto's house, there is space for everyone," Gachagua said.
On his part, Mudavadi said: "His father worked very closely with mine. Nick is a good man who has lost a good 15 years and this partnership will make this region better."
When he took to the podium, President Ruto extended a hand of friendship to Salat, saying he is ready to work with him to better the region.
"Welcome Nick Salat so that we can work together," he said.
Salat served as Bomet MP in the ninth Parliament between 2002 and 2007.
He was suspended as KANU Secretary General in mid-December last year over what the party termed as gross misconduct and violation of the party constitution.
The decision was arrived at after a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) under the chairmanship of party leader Gideon Moi in Nakuru.
The party's disciplinary committee was given a go-ahead to probe the politician before further action.
“You are hereby suspended forthwith from carrying out and/ or performing your duties as the party’s secretary general pending the determination of the disciplinary proceedings,” read part of Moi’s letter to Salat.
However, in a recent interview with Sunday Nation, Salat said he was kicked out of the party's leadership during the meeting held in Nakuru after he challenged the leadership structure to resign following an underwhelming performance in the August 2022 polls.
"We took stock of our performance in the elections and I was asked what is happening to us because our trajectory has been on the decline since 2013. A party's strength is measured by the number of elected members it has," Salat said.
"I said in any functioning democracy, those in leadership including me and the Chairman, should not be in the same position. We should resign and leave others to lead the party."
Salat said his comments rubbed the top brass the wrong way, hence his suspension.
"People were shocked because those questions have never been asked before. We have just been sitting and praising the leadership. I said you cannot have a big name and no results to show for it," he said.
"I asked the Chairman what he has done to ensure the success of the party."