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Kibaki family denies links to businessman Thuo Mathenge's party.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalControversial businessman Thuo Mathenge has suffered a setback as the family of retiredPresident Mwai Kibaki has dissociated itself from his political party - The New Democrats (TND). class="font-size--16 MsoNormalThe Kibaki family denied any links to the party after its officials dragged the name of the eldest son, Jimmy Kibaki, into its operations early in the week.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalPresident Kibaki's Private Secretary Ngari Gituku said Jimmy was not involved in TND's activities and urged Kenyans to ignore the officials who cited his name. class="font-size--16 MsoNormal"From the horse's own mouth .

..

talk about Jimmy Kibaki registering a new political party is loose and idle street talk. Kindly ignore," said Mr Gituku.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalReached for comment, Mr Mathenge neither confirmed nor denied Jimmy's involvement in TND's launch. class="font-size--16 MsoNormal"We are in talks with many Jimmys Jimmy Kibaki, Jimmy Wanjigi and many other Jimmys," he said.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalFINANCIERS class="font-size--16 MsoNormalTND's launch pointed to behind-the scenes schemes by the country's main political players ahead of the 2022 general election. class="font-size--16 MsoNormalMr Mathenge, who is the party's national chairman, said it had embarked on a national recruitment drive in order to increase its popularity at the grassroots level.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalCurrently, the party has one MP, Mr Nzioka Erastus Kivasu of Mbooni, and 11 MCAs mostly in Eastern and Coast regions. class="font-size--16 MsoNormalAsked about financiers, Mr Mathenge said he was funding operations with a boost from contributions by members and business people whose identities he did not reveal.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormal"We cannot reveal the financiers but we have support from academicians, politicians, business people and others in the diaspora. Our support [is widespread]," he said.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalALTERNATIVE class="font-size--16 MsoNormalMr Mathenge joined TND after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) locked him out of the Nyeri governor race following a petition over his eligibility. class="font-size--16 MsoNormalHe said the party is an alternative vehicle for 2022 "because the main political parties and coalitions such as Jubilee and [the National Super Alliance] killed dreams of potential leaders through sham primaries in 2017".

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalThe official said they were having discussions with notable political players in the country who want an alternative party for the Mt Kenya region. class="font-size--16 MsoNormalThis is on grounds that Jubilee, the mainstream party in Central, is facing an uncertain future due to internal wrangles.

class="font-size--16 MsoNormalFIRM OPPOSITION class="font-size--16 MsoNormalMr Mathenge said they were planning to dehorn Jubilee, particularly in Mt Kenya, and create a firm opposition. class="font-size--16 MsoNormal"We anticipate there will be a change in the political landscape ahead of 2022 and a referendum.

We are positioning ourselves to be part of the government that will be formed after the election," he said. class="font-size--16 MsoNormal"Our party is likely to have a presidential candidate in 2022. class="font-size--16 MsoNormalTND, Narc Kenya, Party of National Unity (PNU), Democratic Party (DP) and Kanu have revamped their activities in Central as part of efforts to grow their support bases.
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 7, 2019
Words:601
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