PNU supremacy battle escalates as Muriithi faction meets aspirants

Thursday, January 20th, 2022 01:00 | By
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi. PHOTO/File

The battle of supremacy in the Party of National Unity (PNU) escalated yesterday, after Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi, met scores of political aspirants from the Mt Kenya region, seeking to contest various posts on the party’s ticket in the August 9 polls.

Conspicuously absent from the meeting, which was presided over by Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki (pictured) was the party’s national secretary-general John Okemwa, who had declared the event “illegal.”
Okemwa is allied to a PNU faction loyal to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya who is locked in a battle for the control of the party with the Laikipia governor.

Also at yesterday’s meeting held at the party’s headquarters in Nairobi was the deputy national organizing secretary T.M Kariuki, demonstrating the bitter supremacy battle which has split the party leadership down the middle.

Muriithi had in a press invite indicated that he would preside over the event, only to dispatch his deputy to represent him.

“Governor Muriithi will meet PNU delegates from Mt Kenya in readiness for the Party’s recruitment drive. Time 11:30, Venue PNU headquarters Waruku,” read the invite. 

While Mwaniki was quick to dismiss reports of a power struggle in the party, Okemwa’s absence from the meeting pointed to the big split in the party that propelled retired President Mwai Kibaki to State House in the disputed 2007 election.

“PNU has a National Executive Committee which is handling all party matters and there is no fight between Muriithi and Munya. It was just a miscommunication which has been clarified by the party leadership,” the deputy governor told reporters. 

He added: “We have chosen PNU to be our political home after realizing that PNU is a nationwide party which is supporting Azimio la Umoja.”
However, sources within the party painted a picture of a vicious war between Muriithi and Munya, with the governor enjoying the support of the party chairman David Kamau, Kariuki, and the party treasurer while Munya’s camp is led by Okemwa. 

“The war is brewing, it is likely to explode unless things are settled and may trigger conflict between Meru and parts of central Kenya. There seems to be a deliberate attempt to kick Munya out of the party in favour of Muriithi. The person who can make things easy is Okemwa but he believes that Munya shouldn’t be persecuted,” a source told People Daily.  

More on News