West Pokot: Lonyangapuo Ditches KANU to this party ahead of 2022 elections

West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo has shown signs of ditching the Kenya National African Union Party (KANU) after he affirmed that he has formed a new political party.

On Saturday, July 17, Lonyangapuo said he will use his new party to defend his position in the 2022 general elections.

The move by Lonyangapuo will likely affect the dominance of KANU, Jubilee and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) parties in the region by creating disharmony among leaders who may not vie using one political party as they used to.

Lonyangapuo who is the only KANU Governor in the country has been having a sour relationship with KANU’s top leadership from 2019 for what he described as interference with the affairs of the county.

The move by Lonyangapuo 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.

Speaking in Makutano township, Lonyangapuo, a formidable and strong loyal member of KANU, said he is ready to jump ship arguing that the party’s top leadership was out to frustrate and sabotage his government through the county assembly.

The Governor who did not disclose the name of the new party, dismissed allegations of him forming a Pochon Party (Pokot Party) but hinted that the new party has a national outlook.

“My party is not Pochon as many purport. It has members and officials from across the country. I was in KANU and some people urinated on us,” Lonyangapuo said.

The county boss castigated a section of leaders from the region whom he claims he helped to win seats in the past general elections.

Lonyangapuo singled out West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio, County Assembly Speaker Catherine Mukenyang and Deputy Governor Dr. Nicholas Atundonyang for fighting him while plotting his political death.

“Some people, including the ones I campaigned for are against me. Without me Poghisio could not have been a senator. The speaker vied as a women rep and failed terribly. I made sure she got her current position as speaker of the county,” Lonyangapuo said.

The governor further faulted Deputy Governor Dr. Nicholas Atundonyang for absconding his duties for four years.

“He stays in the United States with his wife .He comes and gets lost. I was even arrested by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission [EACC] for protecting him and after that he insulted me,” the governor said.

Atudonyang who works in the United States as a neurosurgeon fell out with Governor Lonyangapuo after he went back to America in the beginning of 2018 .

Lonyangapuo said that his deputy has been stating that there is corruption in the county yet he is not on the ground .

According to the governor, West Pokot has more than 400,000 votes and any presidential candidate in need of them should come through him and make an agreement.

“People have been accusing me of leaving bigger parties to start smaller one. If I didn’t fail after KANU, how can I fail with my homegrown party? Lonyangapuo posed.

When reached for comment, the Senate Majority Leader said that West Pokot was still Kanu zone and assured party leader Gideon Moi of 100 percent support if he vies for presidency.

“West Pokot is like a home for Gideon when he feels like sleeping in the bedroom or staying in the living room he is at liberty to do so,” Poghisio said.

Poghisio further claimed that Lonyangapuo was only fooling around after failing to work for the Pokot people.

“This is a person who should not be taken seriously,” Poghisio claimed.

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