The Kenya African National Union (KANU) Party has got a big blow after the Party’s Chairman Gideon Moi’s point man in West Pokot County , nominated member of County assembly Elijah Kasheusheu popularly known as Ozil ditched the party for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
The outspoken MCA was officially received in the new party by Deputy President Dr. William Ruto at his Karen home on Friday in the company of four Members of Parliament from the County.
Mr. Kasheusheu who last year broke links with West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo has been a close ally of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who in 2019 fell out with Governor Lonyangapuo.
Governor Lonyangapuo ditched the Independent Party and formed his Kenya Union Party (KUP).
Governor Lonyangapuo has been having a sour relationship with KANU’s top party leadership since 2019 for interfering with party affairs in the County.
This comes after more than 200 youths calling themselves “Third force” who were allied to KANU leaders, Senate majority leader, Samuel Poghisio, embattled speaker Catherine Mukenyang and absentee Deputy Governor Dr Nicholas Atudonyang ditched KANU party for Lonyangapuo’s KUP party.
Three months ago, KANU also suffered a major setback after West Pokot County assembly speaker, Catherine Mukenyang was impeached and later reinstated by the courts, however, she has not been allowed to preside over sittings in the County Assembly after youths and security officers barred her from accessing the County Assembly chambers to hold proceedings.
Two weeks ago, Governor Lonyangapuo, Pokot South MP David Pkosing and former Tiaty MP Asman Kamama, unveiled the Kenya United Party (KUP) in Nairobi.
The move by the leaders will be a big blow to KANU since West Pokot has predominantly been a KANU zone.
In the last election, KANU won the governors, senator and majority of seats in the county assembly.
Besides Prof Lonyangapuo who was elected on a Kanu ticket, the Independence Party also carried the Senate seat won by current Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and 14 of the 33 members of the County Assembly, same as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee.
Mr Kasheusheu was the only MCA who had remained in KANU after the exit of all 14 KANU members of the County Assembly allied to Governor Lonyangapuo.
The youthful leader has in recent times seen with Gideon Moi in rallies across the country.
Speaking to the press in Kapenguria, Mr Kasheusheu who has declared to vie for the Mnagei ward representative ward, said that he made the decision to jump ship because voters and residents in West Pokot County are all in UDA.
“You cannot go against the will of the people. I have been spanner number 17 in KANU and I will be spanner number 17 in UDA,”he said.
Mr Kasheusheu faulted the KANU Party for lacking party structures in the county.
“There is no Kanu office in West Pokot. There is no one to give direction because Majority leader Samuel Poghisio is only seen in the county after three months. The Deputy Governor Dr Nicholas Atudonyang has shown no signs of returning home,”he said
He noted that there is KANU membership registration for new members in the County.
“KANU is dead here. The party used to thrive only in West Pokot, not even Baringo.We shall take the energies we used to campaign for Uhuru Kenyatta to William Ruto,” he said.
Mr Kasheusheu said that he ditched the Independence Party because he liked the manifesto of DP Ruto.
However, Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio said West Pokot is still a KANU zone and assured party chairman Gideon Moi total support for his presidential bid.
“We are ready to traverse this County and seek votes for our presidential leader,” he said.