Perhaps, you don’t know that there is a Frontier Alliance Party (FAP) which ODM elected governor of Marsabit Ukur Yattani is seeking re-election on. This is the summary. The long story is below.
At this desperate age of moral upset, the least Kenyans needed was a political class less treacherous, yet this is not a mean feat now.
On March 14, a sunny Tuesday in Nairobi, State House hosted a delegation of Marsabit political leaders. Among them was Governor Ukur Yattani, elected on an ODM ticket in the last election, a number of MPs and MCAs. There were elders, of course, and a few women.
To be precise, there was Roba Duba (Moyale – MP), Chachu Ganya (North Horr -MP ), Nasra Ibrahim (woman representative) and Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis -MP).
Lekuton excused himself before the meeting to attend to an urgent matter. Ganya, Nasra and Lekuton all belonged to ODM. Duba was elected on UDF, which morphed into Amani National Congress.
They all joined Jubilee, and, facing the whole nation, talked high of President Uhuru’s “development record”, to which they didn’t want their people of Marsabit to be left behind from.
It is unclear what happened immediately after the highly publicized defection. Perhaps, they realized the folly of ‘cheap tea’ at state house. Or, maybe, the mood on the ground was just indifferent to their lofty rumbling in Nairobi.
Or, as is usual, the balance of the bargain that was to be paid later never materialized. With more communities to purchase, Jubilee has drastically reduced its purchase price. Ask Ababu Namwamba!
Be that as it may.
While their defection from ODM (and UDF) to Jubilee Party was high drama, that little has been said of them ditching Jubilee barely days after they joined it gives credence to critics of the Kenyan press as purveyors of half truths, all of the time.
Ukur and group, after the short stint in Jubilee, moved to the little known Frontier Alliance Party (FAP). FAP is little known because it didn’t exist until it was created for Ukur and his group. And it was created out of the remains of Saba Saba Asili.
For this to happen, all laws on party registration were raped, and their virginity broken.
Saba Saba Asili officials who refused to sign away their party soon realized forgery of signatures and fake minutes could be made legit when the system desires.
The Registrar of Political Parties, a Jubilee matron by the name Lucy Ndung’u breaks all laws to accommodate Jubilee whims. She has resisted attempts by Saba Saba Asili officials to reclaim their party.
But why did Ukur and group fall out with Jubilee? Insiders talk of high-stakes internal competition for the future of the red-themed party in post-Uhuru era.
“Jubilee spin-masters have created the impression that theirs is a single party but beneath it simmers earth-shaking maneuvers on who controls its heart and mind, now and in the future. Uhuru men want it. Ruto men want it too. The result has been two centres of power giving itself the veneer of unity,” an insider told this writer.
“In the Marsabit case. Uhuru supported Ukur. Ruto, on the other hand, preferred Mohamud Mohamed Ali, who has been a partner in the looting at NHIF,” he adds.
Ukur, aware of how treacherous Ruto can be, opted out. And rather than rush back to ODM, as Lekuton did, he dithered, allowing Uhuru men to ‘give’ him yet another party: The Frontier Alliance Party.
“He was convinced that Uhuru will give in to Ruto if the matter came to the table, if anything, it is Ruto who needs Jubilee Party most. This is why he moved out. But he also didn’t want to offend Uhuru, so he agreed to FAP.”
But to create FAP from scratch was going to difficult, considering the time frames and the urgency. That’s how Saba Saba Asili landed in trouble.
The people fighting to regain Saba Saba Asili evoke the party’s heydays as a bastion of plural democracy. They say the Party of Kenneth Matiba must not exit the face of the earth mired in such political thuggery.
And, they say Jubilee Party has months to live, and has been set to die immediately after August is navigated. Saba Saba Asili, just like PNU, they say, is the future of Mt. Kenya politics.
It is only a matter of time.