Saitoti hires TV journalist Alex Chamwada
Posted by Administrator on February 1, 2012
PNU chairman George Saitoti yesterday hired veteran TV journalist Alex Chamwada to lead his press team in the run-up to the presidential election. Chamwada is the political editor at Citizen TV. Saitoti is setting up a secretariat to drive his campaign to become president. “Many other professionals will join the team and negotiations are going on. We cannot name them until we have agreed,” stated a source within Saitoti’s campaign team. Chamwada was not available for comment.
Yesterday, at a press conference held at the PNU office on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi, Saitoti said they want to strengthen the party. On Saturday, he said he was in the race to succeed President Kibaki irrespective of who received the PNU Alliance nomination. “This time I have decided. We will meet at the ballot,” he told PNU delegates in Machakos.
Yesterday, Saitoti met the PNU management committee and later welcomed Kiraitu Murungi’s announcement that the PNU Alliance would change its name to Alliance Party of Kenya. The Internal Security minister said yesterday’s meeting was to review the ongoing recruitment of party members and assess how the party was “performing on the ground”.
Organising secretary Maina Kamanda said the party had opened branches in 35 counties and asked all MPs affiliated to the party to support Saitoti. “PNU is not a small party. It is a signatory to the National Accord and it is the interest of all sitting MPs to ensure that it complies with the provisions of the Political Parties Act,” he said.
Kamanda warned that failure by the party to comply with the Act would end the coalition. “PNU is a signatory to the accord and if it does not comply with the Act by March 31, let all MPs know that the government will stand dissolved,” he said. Saitoti has been emboldened to run for President after the ICC last week confirmed charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been the main presidential contender from Central region
On Saturday, Saitoti warned the PNU Alliance against using the ‘PNU’ name as it was causing confusion among party supporters. “We welcome the statement because it confirms these parties are independent. It is sensible because the two parties should be separate. Our members are concerned about the use of PNU tag. They want to know if we are in PNU or PNU Alliance,” he said yesterday. Saitoti clarified that he did not attend the recent launch of PNU Alliance because he realised it was pushing for individual, as opposed to corporate, members.
The minister said corporate membership is illegal as the Act only provides for either mergers or coalitions. Saitoti did not rule out the possibility of working with other parties in future. “In the eyes of the public and members we are independent, but not hostile to each other,” he said. “Every party is at liberty to recruit members to comply with the Political Parties Act.” On Saturday, Saitoti spoke at the PNU delegates meeting for Lower Eastern at the St Joseph Pastoral Centre in Machakos town, which was attended by leaders from Machakos, Kitui and Mwingi counties.
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