Damaris Too: Why I left Kanu, formed Chama ya Mapatano Kenya

Damaris Too, leader of Chama Ya Mapatano Kenya (CYMK), says Kanu chairman Gideon Moi gave her his blessings when she decided to quit the independence party and form her own.

She said she did not see any signs of her personal growth and that Kanu did not did not provide the space for her political aspirations.

“It was hard for me to continue serving in the party. I sat with the Kanu chairman and asked for his blessings and he granted me the permission. Therefore ,I left the party,” she told the press in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, on Monday.

“My grandfather was a Kanu chairman so I was born and raised in Kanu but I was not growing. We had people who served in various regimes and who still wanted to serve in the next government.”

No affiliation

Ms Too spoke as CYMK launched its recruitment drive in the North Rift region.

Kanu and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) are some of parties in the vote-rich region that have stepped up recruitment ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The CYMK leader further said her party is not affiliated with any political party but is open to working with like-minded outfits, and dismissed claims that political figures were behind the formation of the party.

“Talks of big names behind me are nothing but rumors. However, I would like to invite these big names to the table,” she said.

Ms Too further ruled out the possibility of running fsr the country’s top seat, only saying the party will field candidates for other positions.

“At the moment I am not going for presidency. Forming a party does not meaning you have to be a presidential candidate. We are changing that by providing the platform, but when the time comes, we shall decide who to support in the presidential race,” she said.

Damaris Cherono Too (centre), leader of Chama Ya Mapatano Kenya, is pictured with her parents Joshua and Florence Toom during the launch of the party’s recruitment drive at Hotel Sirikwa in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County, on June 21, 2021./Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Paradigm shift

Ms Too pointed out that in the last 10 years, no single woman in the country has unveiled a new political party.

She is the first woman from the Kalenjin community to form a political party, and joins a list of few that includes Narc’s Charity Ngilu and Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua.

The CYMK leader she will drum up support for the political movement in all counties as they seek various elective posts in the next election. The party, she said, promises a paradigm shift in politics.

Ms Too regretted that women and youth make up more than 50 per cent of registered voters but have largely been left out of leadership.

Her political entity, she said, will be at the forefront in fighting for respect for the rule of law, democracy, human rights and inclusivity.

It will also advocate for the expansion’s of women’s space in leadership and push for realisation of two thirds gender rule, she said.

“We cannot sit back and watch … the economy and agriculture sectors have not been given much attention … young people are educated but cannot get jobs and women are still struggling for economic independence. As a mother and a youth, I have decided to do something about it,” she said.

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