Mwangi Kiunjuri, the former Agriculture Minister just launched a new political party that is widely thought to be on the ballot for the 2022 presidential general election. But why form a new party when it is convenient to just join the many parties already active in Kenyan politics?
Well, it has to do with personal preferences. In some cases, it is way better to form your own party than to join already established political parties. This is more so due to the fact that most parties already have party leaders and very unlikely to accept new comers into leadership roles. For example it is very unlikely for a new entrant into the ruling Jubilee party to be accepted as a party leader.
Same applies to Raila Odinga‘s ODM. It is very likely that Mwangi Kiunjuri wanted to be a party leader hence had no option than to form his own political party.
Who is Mwangi Kiunjuri?
Mr. Kiunjuri is the former Agriculture Minister who got fired on January 27, 2020 by Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of the Republic of Kenya. Mr. Kiunjuri drew humorous memes in the country inspired by his inability to deal with the scourge of locust invasion in eastern parts of Kenya.
Mwangi Kiunjuri is 51 years old, married to Wangui Kimathi (his spouse). Mr. Kiunjuri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Moi University in 1994. He was elected to parliament three years after his graduation in 1997 under the Democratic Party (DP) umbrella.
He campaigned and was re-elected as MP in the 2002 election. Mr. Kiunjuri has served as an assistant Minister for Water and Irrigation and Energy.
In 2015, Mr. Kiunjuri replaced the current embattled Kirinyaga County governor Anne Waiguru as the Minister of Devolution and Planning. This was after Ms. Waiguru was forced to resign due to her involvement in corruption scandals in the National Youth Service (NYS).
Ms Waiguru has been unable to shake off these allegations to date as she is currently facing a senate hearing regarding her June 2020 impeachment by Kirinyaga County MCAs.
Mr. Kiunjuri Launches A New Party: The Service Party (TSP).
On June 24, 2020, it was announced in social media that Mr. Kiunjuri has officially launched a new political party called The Service Party (TSP). Through the new party, Mr. Kiunjuri promised to address issues affecting Kenyans at a national level.
When Mr. Kiunjuri was sacked by Uhuru Kenyatta in January, the defiant politician promised not to go anywhere. He stated that he will be back better than ever. May be this is what he had in mind back then.
During the launch of his new party, Mr. Kiunjuri said that his new party will never be sold. By this he means he will not allow his party to merge with any other party like Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) and KANU recently did. CCM under the leadership of former Bomet governor Mr. Isaac Ruto joined the ruling Jubilee Party. So did KANU under party leader Gideon Moi.
Other political parties that have recently joined Jubilee includes Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party as well as the leader of ODM Mr. Raila Odinga. Jubilee Party is positioning itself as the party to beat come 2022 Kenya general elections.
It is yet to be known who will be fielded as Jubilee’s flag bearer for the coming general election should an attempt to change the constitution fail and Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta is sent home for retirement.