Kadu Asili Party leader Emmanuel Nzai has decamped to United Democratic Movement (UDA).
Nzai has also shelved his plans to vie for the Kilifi gubernatorial position and instead opted to support Aisha Jumwa.
He confirmed the move in a statement after meeting Deputy President William Ruto on Monday.
Nzai, who is the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani Chief Executive Officer had declared to vie for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat on a Kadu Asili ticket.
“My option to join UDA has been a result of thorough consultation and a myriad of meetings with all stakeholders as well as my dear supporters. More so the current political terrain and campaign Strategy left me with no option but to join UDA. I mean well for the county and I urge each one of you to join hands as we serve the good people of Kilifi. I’m joining UDA to Deputize Hon Aisha Jumwa for the gubernatorial seat,” read the statement
Nzai Joined Kadu Asili after meeting the Chonyi council of elders who had pledged to support his bid.
In 2017, Nzai was the running mate for Third Way Alliance Presidential candidate Ekur Aukot.
Kadu Asili deputy party leader Daniel Mangi said he had been shocked by the sudden change of events.
Mangi said Nzai is deemed to have lost the party leader position after the defection.
“It is in our constitution that the gubernatorial candidate is our party leader and we had entrusted him with the position. We feel betrayed but it is good he has demonstrated what kind of a leader he is. We are going to summon him so that we could hear him out,” said Mangi
Nzai was one of the front runners in the race to succeed Amason Kingi owing to his wealth of leadership skills.
Before joining Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani, Nzai served in the Vision 2030 delivery secretariat as the Chief Executive Officer.
Nzai who comes from the Chonyi subtribe of the Mijikenda had vowed to end the dominance of the Giriama subtribe in Kilifi politics.
Giriama forms the majority tribe in Kilifi County followed by the Chonyi.
Chonyi Council Elders Chairman Patrick Mwalimu Rasi (Also chair of the Mijikenda) have in the last several months been consulting on who will take over from Amason Kingi.
The Chonyi council of elders is seeking to draw consensus for a Governor, Deputy Governor, Senator, Woman Representative and Speaker from the elders of Giriama, Rabai, Kauma, Jibana, Kambe, and Ribe.
A major contention is the popular sentiments that Governor Kingi of the Giriama community (North) have held the Governorship for 10 years with Rabai Deputizing (Gideon Saburi – 2017 – 2022 and Kenneth Kamto – 2013 – 2017) and Kahindi a Southern Giriama (Kaloleni) as Speaker.
Emmanuel holds an MBA, In Information Technology and Public Administration from Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia, USA.