Deputy President William Ruto and former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri in Lari on January 29, 2020
TANGATANGA: Deputy President William Ruto and former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri in Lari on January 29, 2020
Image: DPPS

By Reporter

A party associated with former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has been registered and can now start rolling out its programmes ahead of 2022.

The Service Party was given a certificate of registration after meeting all the requirements, acting registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu told the Star on Tuesday.

“The party has been fully registered after rigorous process that has taken them one year and two months,” Nderitu told the Star by phone.

Late last evening, the Star established that TSP, the new kid on Kenya’s expanding political sphere, could be unveiled this morning.

The unveiling of the new party signals a comeback into politics by the immediate former Agriculture CS, who was dropped from the Cabinet in January by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kiunjuri was kicked out of Uhuru’s administration in the continued purge targeting Deputy President William Ruto’s allies. He is a close associate of the DP.

TSP is the latest entrant in Central Kenya as leaders position themselves for the 2022 elections. With no end in sight to the growing squabbles in Jubilee, Kiunjuri is seeking to control the Central region with the new party.

The former lawmaker hopes to be the one to pull off a master stroke in attracting Mt Kenya’s support as the region shops for a kingpin after the exit of Uhuru in 2022.

It is not clear yet if Kiunjuri will be running for Laikipia governor or he is still keen on being Ruto’s running mate. Towards the 2017 general election, however, Kiunjuri had declared that he would run for governor but President Kenyatta prevailed upon him to shelve his ambition.

TSP was registered by a group of youths under the chairmanship of Kariuki Munyoroku. It was issued with an interim certificate in January and is positioning itself to be a beneficiary of the imminent collapse of Jubilee.

Other parties that have since been registered by Mt Kenya leaders include the Civic Renewal Party (CRP) and Transformation National Alliance Party (TNAP). However, the latter’s registration is reported to have stalled.

CRP is associated with Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, while TNAP is linked to Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria. Besides Jubilee, parties with roots in Central Kenya include Narc-Kenya, Safina, Democratic Party, PNU and GNU.

Speculation is rife that TSP could be one of the several alternatives Ruto could be eyeing after the falling-out in Jubilee, given the narrowing chances of him clinching the JP ticket.

President Kenyatta’s camp has edged out the DP from the ruling party. Just last week, Ruto gave the clearest indication that he is shopping for a new vehicle.

Last Thursday, he unveiled a new office for Jubilee MPs allied to his Tangatanga faction of the ruling party.

His launch of Jubilee Asili Centre and the adoption of ‘Sote Pamoja’ as its slogan instead of Jubilee’s ‘Tuko Pamoja’, left no doubt that the die of his exit is cast.

Since his sacking from the Cabinet, Kiunjuri, who is a prolific orator in his mother tongue (Kikuyu), has maintained a low profile. But his confidants tell the Star that the former Laikipia East MP has quietly been planning a political comeback.

In his first public appearance after being fired, Kiunjuri openly took on the President saying, he will not be gagged from speaking his mind just because he supports the DP.

“Deputy President, I can assure you that you will have one general to the end. If you end up in opposition, we shall be together. If you form the next government, we shall be there. Kupimiwa hewa iwachwe (gagging people should stop),” he said.