By Kuvee Kangueehi
DTA MP, McHenry Venaani, yesterday announced that he would not contest any official party position at the central committee meeting set for later in the year.
Venaani’s announcement comes in the wake of intense political manoeuvrings in the DTA, which has pitted Venaani against the DTA president, Katuutire Kaura, for the presidency.
Venaani said his decision is based on unifying the party and not to allow fragmentation at this crucial time of preparing for national elections, which take place in less than 19 months.
Venaani said recent political events in Kenya, where a disputed election caused the country to explode into violence, infighting within the Congress of Democrats (CoD), which has led to the party being permanently fragmented, were some of the factors that he took into account before arriving at the decision.
He, however, said he is not quitting politics and will continue to serve the party as MP, member of the executive as well as the central committee.
Venaani said he has been contemplating the decision for some time now. He noted that despite losing the DTA presidency in 2005 by a narrow margin against the incumbent, he accepted the outcome of the elections and has moved on.
However, Venaani said he would not oppose anybody in the party who wants to contest against Kaura for the position of presidency. Venaani said he would look at the political agenda of any of the possible candidates and support the candidate with the best agenda.
The decision by Venaani not to stand leaves Kaura as favourite. Kaura earlier indicated that he will stand for re-election and is ready to serve another term if the party elects him.
Some party insiders claim that the move by Venaani is a deliberate tactic by the youthful MP to stop a systematic ploy by Kaura and his cronies to eliminate him from the party.
The insiders claim that some people want to create a rift between Venaani and Kaura in order for him not to make it to Parliament after 2010.
In 2005, Venaani lost the secretary general position to Alois Gende and the presidency to Kaura. Some party members were demanding that Gende replaces Venaani in Parliament.
The announcement also brings into question the political future of one of DTA’s rising stars.
Meanwhile, Venaani said he is looking forward to an eventful Parliament session, as the National Assembly will debate many issues that affect the daily lives of many people.
He noted that his party supports the CoD motion on the Grade 10 dropouts and believes that the debate around the future of more than 16??????’??