- PAA secretary general Lucas Maitha alongside other party officials on Tuesday welcomed back four out of the eight defectors.
- PAA secretary general Maitha refuted the rumours the party was facing deregistration.
Barely a week after a section of Pamoja African Alliance party members defected to the Orange Democratic Movement, some of the defector have made a u-turn and returned home.
PAA secretary general Lucas Maitha alongside other party officials on Tuesday welcomed back four out of the eight ‘prodigal sons and daughters’ who had earlier defected to ODM.
Former Kilifi MCAs Alphonce Mwayaa (Kaya Fungo), Pascal Makanga (Mwanamwinga), Daniel Kitsao (Mnarani) and a former aspirant for Junju ward returned to a warm reception hosted by the PAA national executive council in Mtwapa.
“We are willingly embracing you. Welcome back home,” said Maitha as he welcomed the returnees.
ODM also suffered a major blow as two of its former aspirants, Victoria Mnyazi, a former ODM nominated MCA and aspirant for Jaribuni ward, and Janeth Majana, who unsuccessfully vied for the Ruruma ward MCA seat, declared their departure to PAA.
“We fought tirelessly for ODM, but we were left in the wilderness after we lost. I am tired of the arrogance meted on us. Enough is enough, I am out,” Mnyazi said.
"Let the ODM party leader know that more of us are on the way out,” she added.
The PAA returnees alleged they were tricked to leave after receiving rumours that the party was among those lined up for deregistration by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.
The ORPP had initiated the process of deregistering three political parties for failing to comply with certain provisions of the law governing political party activities.
Former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot’s Thirdway Alliance Party, Mzalendo Asili and Alternative Leadership Party of Kenya were set to be registered.
But they have since gone to the court to block the process. The three were to be struck off for failing to meet the requirement of having a minimum of 1,000 members each in at least 24 of the 47 counties.
“I am one of those who went to Chungwa House in Nairobi after we were informed that the party was folding. But after we realised that we were lied to and the way we were ignored when the ODM boss was touring the region, we decided to come back home,” Mwayaa said.
PAA secretary general Maitha refuted the rumours the party was facing deregistration, saying those were lies propagated by ODM aimed at weakening the party.
He said ODM had panicked over how fast PAA was taking over the Coast region that has for long been perceived to be an ODM zone.
“I wish to notify members that the party is strong and is not going anywhere as alleged. Ignore the rumours you are hearing. PAA is here to stay and shall take its place in the region,” Maitha said.
“It is evident that Baba (Raila) has panicked, that is why you saw him troop to the Coast with his brigade last week. Let him know that we shall dislodge ODM come 2027."
The party is set to kick off nationwide recruitment for members in February.
In the 2022 general election, PAA won three parliamentary seats: Ganze represented by Kenneth Tungule and Kinango represented by Gonzi Rai and Rabai represented by Antony Kenga.
The party won 18 MCA seats across the region, including one in Kakamega county.
“PAA is not a village party, we are a national party. We achieved so much within a short period and that is why our opponents have panicked and are busy attacking us,” Ganze MP Tungule said.
His Kinango counterpart Rai questioned why ODM was hell-bent on breaking PAA, stating that it was crystal clear Coast residents had lost faith in the Raila party and were tired of opposition politics.
Rai said that the region was slowly gravitating to the government owing to the fact that a party born in their region was part and parcel of the current administration.
“As leaders and residents we had been looking for a party that would push the agenda of our people. PAA is the party doing that and that is why we are being fought from all corners,” Rai said.
The leaders also cautioned UDA against fighting affiliate parties within the Kenya Kwanza alliance, reiterating the need to continue working together to help President William Ruto deliver his agenda to the people.
“We are in government to serve wananchi, let us respect each other please,” Tungule said.