African Press International (API)

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Kibaki headed for victory to regain the second term – Panu becomes PNU, parties agree to agree

Posted by African Press International on September 27, 2007

The agreement by PNU parties makes it possible for president Kibaki to get back to State House after December elections if the parties manage to hold on and avoid a split when electioneering starts – API*APN editorial

Story by PATRICK NZIOKA
Publication Date: 9/27/2007

The Party of National Unity seems headed for a major breakthrough after one of the key partners, Ford Kenya, reversed its position and said it would support joint parliamentary and civic nominations.

Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa addresses a press conference after a meeting by members of the PNU at Lenana House in Nairobi yesterday. The alliance backing President Kibakis re-election appeared to be headed for a major breakthrough after key partners struck an agreement on their campaign strategy. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI

kibaki_0709076.jpg<President Kibaki.

The alliance had been rocked by disputes between the 18 member-parties over the mode of nominations since it was unveiled as President Kibakis re-election vehicle on September 16.

Ford Kenya chairman Musikari Kombo yesterday announced that the party had settled for joint nominations. It said any method which would make PNU candidates compete against each other was suicidal. Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa said all partner parties will be holding their delegates conferences where they are expected to take a stand on the nomination issue.

A common stand will later be taken after wide consultations.

Kanu and Ford People will hold their meetings on Saturday and Friday respectively. And as preparations for Sundays launch of the Presidents re-election campaign proceeded at the Nyayo Stadium, PNU also unveiled a 29-member team of politicians who will spearhead the campaigns.

The Nation also learnt that agreement had been reached on the party symbol and colours. The symbol will be two flaming torches while the party flag will be blue, red and white.

Another sticky issue was resolved after it was agreed that a team of politicians will take the front-line in President Kibakis campaigns, relegating the team of professionals and technocrats under Mr Lee Karuri to play a supportive role.

The team dubbed PNU preparatory team consists of 16 ministers as well as representatives from all regions except Nairobi.

It will be chaired by President Kibaki himself while Vice-President Moody Awori is a member.

Conspicuously missing from the list was Trade minister Mukhisa Kituyi, also the Narc-Kenya secretary-general. There was also no representative from the smaller parties.

Their teams first assignment will be to organise the launch of President Kibakis campaign on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Move to all regions

The campaign will then move to all regions of the country with representatives form the respective areas expected to take charge.

The names were unveiled at a press conference at the campaign secretariat on Lenana Road in Nairobi. The meeting was attended by majority of the ministers.

Mr Kirwa read the statement on behalf of his colleagues who held a meeting at the venue before the names were disclosed. He said the team had been set up after consultations between the President and the parties that make up PNU.

The party will also be abbreviated to PNU and not Panu. The name Panu was given by the chairman of the partys coordinating committee, Dr Noah Wekesa, a day after the party was launched on September 16.

Mr Kirwa said the team of technocrats who seemed to have taken over the Presidents campaign will now support the political team.

Other teams in the campaign will provide logistical support to the political wing. We are working together as a team, he said.

Details on responsibilities of the members of the team will be announced after the parties that make PNU deliberate on the matter.

Mr Kirwa said the parties are united in their support for the Presidents re-election out of their conviction that there is unity in diversity.

He said Kenyas future was safe with President Kibaki because he would consolidate the gains made in expanding the democratic space, economy, education, infrastructure and health sectors as well as in job creation as a result of starting new industries.

On the mode of nominating candidates for parliamentary seats, Mr Kirwa said all the parties will be holding their national delegates conferences where they are expected to take a stand on the matter.

Ford Kenya has already rooted for joint nominations.

In addition to Mr Awori and Mr Kirwa, ministers in the 29-member team include Simeon Nyachae, Raphael Tuju, Musikari Kombo, Joseph Munyao and Ali Mwakwere among other ministers, assistant ministers and MPs from various regions.

Also in the list is Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta and several Kanu MPs.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN source.nation.ke

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