By Victoria Magar
The People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria will not field a candidate in the upcoming Kiambaa parliamentary by-election.
Kuria announced the withdrawal from the July 15 poll today, averting simmering internal supremacy wars with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) colleagues Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu) and Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kiambu County backyard.
Gachagua recently locked horns with Kuria over how the Deputy President William Ruto-led Hustler Movement alliance will approach the Kiambaa by-elections after UDA fronted John Njuguna to fly its flag in the race while PEP unveiled Raymond Kuria as its candidate.
In a post on his social media pages, Kuria said the party decision was arrived at after holding extensive talks with Ruto.
“Yesterday I held extensive discussions with my boss and friend H.E Dr William Ruto on this matter. To make my two colleagues happy and above all for the unity of the Hustler Nation, PEP will NOT be fielding a candidate for the Kiambaa by election,” he said.
The lawmaker apologized to Kiambaa residents and the PEP candidate but noted that the party will now turn their focus on a nationwide tour as they prepare for the 2022 General Elections.
“PEP’s message of hope and renewal has been endorsed by the voters of Gaturi Ward in Muranga on 15th December, 2020 and Juja constituency on 18th May 2021. We wanted to present this message for approval by the people of Kiambaa Constituency on the 15th July. However this did not go down very well with my colleagues particularly Rigathi Gachagua and Kimani Ichungwa,” Kuria stated.
He said the PEP is a member and stakeholder in the Hustler Nation alongside former Machakos Johnson Muthama-led UDA, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri’s The Service Party (TSP) and Omingo Magara-led Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) which “offer a platform for political participation and mentorship in leadership for a new crop of leaders and professionals.
“Whereas PEP is driven by our ordinary men and women, mostly the youth, our sister party UDA is largely driven by my colleagues, the incumbent MPs whom I respect a lot. Both compliment each other,” said the Gatundu South legislator.
The ruling Jubilee Party nominated Karanja Kariri Njama to be its flagbearer in the by-elections which was occasioned by the demise of immediate former MP Paul Koinange.