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KANU seeks to woo youth, regional balance in new changes

The Kenya Africa National Union (KANU) has brought in new faces in the party leadership in what is seen as a move to woo more youth and popularize the political outfit as it strategizes ahead of the 2027 elections.

The latest move is seen as plans to strengthen the political outfit across the country by having more youth with an eye on the 2027 polls, this even as Gideon Moi, the party leader, remained mum on his next move come next general elections.

Mr Moi, whose father Daniel Arap Moi, was also KANU party leader and the country’s second president, named 27-year-old Mr Manase Nyainda as director of communication of the party while his predecessor Joseph Towett was named as the new secretary for information, communication and media relations in the party policy advisory council.

Mr Nyainda hails from Migori county and is a public relations practitioner.

Mr Nyainda told Nairobi News the party is seeking to strengthen by having a regional, ethnic and representation of the special groups in the party.

He noted they are keen to have more youth and ensure regional balance at the national and branch level as they galvanize support across the country.

“Right now, we want to restructure our party at the national level as we move to the grassroots level. We also are adopting a different approach by providing constructive criticism to the issues touching on Kenyans . . . You will also see more young people taking key leadership positions,” he told Nation on phone.

Mr Nyainda said that although the party was in the Azimio coalition having signed an agreement, they are keen to strengthen the party ahead of the next general polls.

“I will not speak about our boss’ next move come 2027 but I can tell you that we will be coming out strong in the next elections,” he added.

In March 2023, Kanu named Mr George Wainana as the acting secretary general of the party to replace former Nick Salat who fell out with Mr Moi. The announcement came three months after the party’s discip;inary committee ejected Mr Salat from the party. Mr Salat has since defected to the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

KANU has in the past few months held a series of grassroot meetings in six counties namely Bomet, Baringo, Narok, Kakamega, Samburu and Migori a bid to popularize the party and have planned meetings in the different region to consolidate their support.

“We plan to move to Isiolo and Marsabit and other pastoral counties in the coming months and the rest of the counties. By next one year we plan to have grassroots elections to replace those officials who joined other political outfits,” said a party official.

Mr Moi backed opposition leader Raila Odinga in the August 2022 polls against President William Ruto of UDA.

The move saw the party lose a number of political seats in the last elections.

In the last parliament, the political party had 11 MPs but now have six elected MPs.

Party organizing secretary Abdiraham Bafadhili in a recent interview said that the independence party is in opposition to stay.

“As a party, we are in opposition to stay and put the government in check. We will criticize if it will not do what we feel is not right and support the administration if it does good to Kenyans,” stated Mr Bafadhili.

However, Mr Moi has kept a low profile, choosing not to attend the coalition public events, only delegating to other party officials.

“He doesn’t want to appear to openly antagonize or criticize President William Ruto who comes from the same region. He also wants to allow leaders who were given mandate time to deliver,” said another official who requested not to be quoted as he is not allowed to speak to the media.

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