DP has written to Nderitu objecting to proposed changes to the party’s top decision making organ, the national management committee
- DP’s allies say they will go any length to fight for their rights in Jubilee.
- Registrar of political parties to issue a statement on Tuesday.
The Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu will this week rule on the bonafide leadership of the Jubilee Party following claims of an attempted coup.
Nderitu said she had received more than 100 letters of protest and she will make a decision on the way forward.
Among those who have protested proposed changes in the party’s leadership is Deputy President William Ruto who is also Jubilee’s deputy party leader.
“I have received more than 100 letters protesting the proposed changes in the Jubilee National Management committee. I will state the next course of action after my office has gone through all the letters,” Nderitu said.
Ruto has termed “illegal” the party’s decision to make changes to one of its top decision-making organs.
In a tweet on Friday, the DP castigated people he described as shadowy characters for making “illegal” changes at a time when Kenyans were focused on the war on the coronavirus pandemic.
He said, “As Kenyans are focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, some shadowy characters are attempting to fraudulently institute illegal changes in officials of Jubilee party. As deputy leader, I have alerted the registrar of the fraud. Party members should know that the matter is being handled.”
The ruling political outfit had forwarded five new names to the National Management Committee following the exit of three others.
The committee currently has 13 members appointed by the party leader who is President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The team is in charge of the day-to-day management of the party and sits more frequently than the National Executive Committee or the National Delegates Conference to make urgent and pressing decisions.
According to some members, the party has never held any formal meeting to ratify any decisions or propose any changes to party organs including the National Management Committee.
I will state the next course of action after my office has gone through all the letters
Section 33 of the Jubilee constitution gives the party leader and deputy party leader the powers to appoint interim officials during the transition period before internal elections are done.
“The party leader and the deputy party leader shall nominate interim national officials of the party having regard to the officials and strengths of the parties being dissolved, regional, gender, youth, disability and other diversities, and the best interests of the merged party,” the constitution says.
The Jubilee constitution which was ratified in 2016, presumes that the President as the party leader and the DP as his deputy would work in harmony to make party decisions.
The provision could turn the spotlight on the registrar of political parties who last Friday invited public views on the proposed changes to Jubilee’s NMC.
The changes were communicated to the registrar by Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju reportedly with instructions from Uhuru.
Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe, a key confidant of Uhuru has publicly announced that the changes were initiated by the President whom he said in under no obligation to consult anyone.
The same position has been affirmed by the Jubilee National Advisory Council chaired by Albert Nyaundi.
The purported changes have escalated the tension between the President and his deputy with Ruto terming them “illegal and fraudulent.”
The DP’s allies yesterday told the Star that they had identified crucial provisions of the law that they would use to quash the changes to the NMC and demanded that Tuju and Murathe quit the party.
The DP’s allies want the registrar of political parties to veto the changes given that the minutes purportedly filed with her office are fake and that the appointed officials are not members of NEC
Section 7 (1) e requires that six more people be appointed as members of the NMC alongside the national officials but puts a disclaimer that they must be members of NEC.
According to the Political Parties Act, the registrar of political parties cannot accept changes to the officials of a party if they are contested or not procedurally done by party organs with accompanying minutes.
Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, who is among 145 Jubilee MPs who have written to the registrar of political parties protesting the coup, told the Star that the changes are illegal.
The Elgeyo Marakwet senator said that as a member of the Jubilee NEC by virtue of his position, the organ which is supposed to appoint the NMC members, he has never held any meeting since the 2017 general election.
“I have never been invited to any meeting to consider or discuss anything let alone removal, resignation, and or replacement of any officials of the party or the members of the NMC or other organs of the party,” Murkomen said.
Murkomen said he “has also not been consulted by the party leader or the deputy party leader in the purported impugned changes of the NMC.”
The DP’s allies yesterday claimed that at least 145 JP members of the National Assembly, the Senate, MCAs and governors have written to the registrar objecting to the changes.
More ordinary members were also writing to the office, signalling a major storm in Jubilee in the coming days.
Nderitu confirmed to the Star that her office had received over 100 letters objecting to the changes.
“I will know the exact number tomorrow (Tuesday) then I will state my next course of action after going through all the letters,” Nderitu said.
Lucy Nyawira Macharia, Prof Marete Marangu, Walter Nyambati, Jane Nampaso and James Waweru are the proposed members of the NMC.
Veronica Maina, Fatuma Shukri and Pamela Mutua reportedly resigned after getting State jobs, according to Tuju.
Last week, the registrar gave objecting parties seven days to file their objections to the gazette notice dated April 6. The deadline lapsed yesterday, a public holiday.
Yesterday, party deputy secretary-general and Soy MP Caleb Kositany accused Tuju and chairman Nelson Dzuya of faking the purported NEC minutes saying members will “go full length to ensure that they get justice.”
“What happened in the falsification of the minutes by Tuju and the chairman amounts to fraud and all those involved should now be subjected to party disciplinary action. The President cannot be party to stealing his own party,” Kositany told the Star.
He went on, “The Registrar of Political Parties has given out a seven-day period of public participation, we have rejected the names, should they imposed them on us, then they should be ready for a battle. We will utilise all the dispute resolution mechanisms available including going to court.”
He asked the registrar to reject the names and challenged her not to be cowed by “fraudsters” misusing the name of the President to intimidate state officers.
Majority Whip in the National Assembly Benjamin Washiali laughed off the coup saying the move takes back the party to the dark days.
He said being a member of NEC, they never met to ratify the names saying the registrar should have put to task individuals who submitted the list and the minutes as the government has already banned all meetings to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We merged the other parties to form a big family called Jubilee that is ruled under the constitution. What has happened is an attempt to kill the maturing democracy,” Washiali said.
Washiali was the leader of the UDF party that was among the 11 parties that merged to form Jubilee.
However, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, a key ally of the President said the powers to appoint party officials rests with the party leader.
‘The President is the only one with the power to appoint anyone to the party leadership. Even the DP’s allies like Caleb Kositany who is the Party Deputy SG was appointed by the President, solely. He can continue to appoint whoever he wants – for as long as it’s on an interim basis. And that’s going to be the status for a while,” Ngunjiri said.
In the above circumstances, the letters the DP is asking his allies to send to the registrar are therefore literally, useless, Ngunjiri said.
ODM national treasurer Timothy Bosire faulted the DP’s public outbursts at a time when the country’s efforts should be focused on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is regrettable that personal political ambitions appear to override a serious pandemic threatening humanity. Leaders should focus on dealing with Covid-19,” the former-Kitutu Masaba MP said.
The term of the Jubile interim officials ended last Month but on February 3, Tuju wrote to Nderitu asking for an extension of interim officials’ terms.
He said the party could not hold elections in March as earlier planned. The interim officials were to vacate office by March 31.
The postponement of elections is at the centre of the flare-up in Jubilee with claims the proposed NMC team was being brought in to tactically extend the term of the current officials.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech asked Tuju and Murathe to quit the party and join ODM or any other party of their choice.
He told off Tuju for claiming that Uhuru rejected the resignation letter by Murathe.
“I have seen elsewhere Murathe daring to leave Jubilee, in the first place, who asked him to come back? Let them go. They are part of the problems we have in this country,” Koech said.
Via The Star