Adopted from Daily Nation
What you need to know:
Jubilee has warned members facing corruption cases and of ‘questionable integrity’ to forget about holding party positions.
The party polls are expected to be the next battleground for warring Jubilee camps.
ODM also has rebels openly supporting Dr Ruto, undermining party leader Raila Odinga’s political cause.
Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement have imposed conditions for party elections designed to lock out rebels and retain loyalists in the leadership of the two parties exploring a coalition for 2022 elections.
The ruling party and ODM, the biggest political parties by membership and wealth, are headed for a major clash with their members over the restrictions on participation in impending grassroots elections.
Jubilee — on the verge of implosion due to a power struggle between President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto — has warned members facing corruption cases and of ‘questionable integrity’ to forget about holding party positions.
The party polls are expected to be the next battleground for warring Jubilee camps, with a faction allied to the President, which now controls the ruling party, declaring rebels must secure clearance to contest from the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Deputy party leader
NEC is also expected to consider a recommendation by the National Management Committee (NMC) to strip Dr Ruto of his post as deputy party leader on accusations of promoting parallel party offices at Jubilee Asili Centre.
Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju stressed the party will uphold integrity in its elections and only those who meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity will be cleared to contest.
“This is not only the party position, but also the President’s position. If somebody has been charged in court and is fighting a corruption case for stealing money, we cannot allow such kind of money to be used to win seats in the party,” Mr Tuju said.
He added the party’s NEC and the National Disciplinary Committee will decide the fate of the renegades associated with Dr Ruto’s Tangatanga wing.
And ODM, which also has rebels openly supporting Dr Ruto, undermining their party leader Mr Raila Odinga’s political cause, has announced that only vacant positions will be filled during upcoming party polls.
“For purposes of clarity, what we will be doing is harmonisation to fill in existing gaps left by those who died or defected,” ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said, dealing a blow to members looking to topple current official bearers. “The party has elections and nomination rules that set out the criteria for the positions. Our members will be allowed to judge the propriety of those so called renegades to hold party offices,” Mr Sifuna added.
The decision by the two parties to try avert a free-for-all contest is viewed as an attempt to ensure rebels do not seize control of the outfits, whose leaders reached a truce in 2018 and are reportedly working to form the next government.
If Jubilee and ODM were to enter into a 2022 pre-election coalition, which would require approval by their respective party organs, it’s necessary that the parties are in the hands of loyalists. The restrictions will also be a bombshell for politicians seeking to run for office in the 2022 polls.
Party elections offer opportunity for aspirants to test their clout in the party and their regions, with some using the polls as springboards to elective and appointive positions.
The polls also help recharge parties and are often stepping stones to election success if done right.
In Jubilee, the battle will be between allies of the DP, keen to take over the party he says had been hijacked by “brokers and conmen”, and those in President Kenyatta’s camp, out to defend the party they say should not field the DP as their candidate in the 2022 State House contest.
Stormed Jubilee headquarters
Dr Ruto, in a daring move that led to the recommendation of his removal as deputy party leader, stormed Jubilee Party headquarters with 20 MPs for discussions, among other things, on the impending party elections and membership recruitment drive, according to Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Kandara MP Alice Wahome, who briefed journalists after the meeting.
But Mr Tuju dismissed the purported meeting arguing that elections cannot be planned by a faction in the party. He said the party will reactivate the process for the polls which were initially scheduled in March, but were disrupted by an outbreak of coronavirus.
But the Tangatanga brigade has criticised Mr Tuju’s statement suggesting rebels would require NEC clearance to vie for party posts.
Jubilee deputy secretary-general Caleb Kositany said they will no longer entertain “boardroom dealings”to determine the fate of the ruling party. “We will sweep everything and this might be the reason why they do not want to call for elections and are putting hurdles because they know how results will be. But if they refuse, the law will take its course,” Mr Kositany vowed.
Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono threatened that they would move to court should they be barred from seeking Jubilee positions.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said the party belongs to the members who must have the final say on who gets the party slots.
But Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata countered: “President Kenyatta is very popular in the country and among Jubilee party members. If elections were to be held today, I can assure everyone that are only his allies would win.”