Jubilee wrangles escalate as Kega cancels NDC convened by Uhuru

Eala legislator Kanini Kega and Nominated MP Sabina Chege during a past Jubilee Party meeting in Nairobi. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

The Jubilee Party squabbles have intensified after Eala legislator Kanini Kega issued a notice canceling a special National Delegates Conference convened by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kega said the NDC that was scheduled to take place on May 22 at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, stands suspended and the party will in due course issue a notice convening a Special Delegates Convention pursuant to the resolution of the National Executive Council dated February 10.

The Eala MP claimed that due process was not followed in calling for the special NDC.

He said they will clean the party register first to ensure that only genuine delegates participate in making crucial decisions as they work to rejuvenate the party.

“The other day you saw the former President Uhuru Kenyatta visiting the party headquarters accompanied by non-members, we want to have the right structures in place and have party members participate in our affairs, that is why I want a well-planned National Delegates Conference,” said Kega.

The Eala MP maintained that the decision to cancel the special NDC is supported by majority of the party members and elected leaders since they feel that they are being rushed into a meeting whose agenda is not clear and they would need to plan themselves adequately.

But Jubilee Secretary General and former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said that Kega has no powers to cancel the special NDC convened by the party leader Uhuru and insisted that it will go on as planned as it has the backing of majority party members.

Kioni regretted that the Kega faction had decided to work with their rivals in Kenya Kwanza Alliance despite Jubilee being an affiliate party of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya.

He challenged the Eala MP faction to quit Jubilee instead of rocking it from within.

“Our party leader Uhuru Kenyatta has convened a Special National Delegates Conference to be held on May 22 at the Bomas of Kenya, no one has got powers to cancel the decision he has made, we are going to make some decisions aimed at taking the party to the next level,” said Kioni.

The former president announced that the National Executive Committee will present a status report to the members during the NDC and they will discuss and adopt any other matters during the meeting convened pursuant to articles 8.1 and 10.1 of the Jubilee Party Constitution.

Jubilee National Chairperson Nelson Dzuya said last week that they have made a complaint to the National Disciplinary Committee over Kioni’s conduct for the last nine months which includes purporting to convene the NDC without consulting the relevant party organs.

Dzuya accused the former Ndaragwa MP of declaring that the party does not recognize the Kenya Kwanza government without consulting the National Executive Council and failing to secure the interests of the party in the appointment of parliamentary committees.

“Kioni is facing accusation of purporting to issue a letter dated August 11, 2022, without consulting the National Executive Council, purporting to issue letters dated February 10, 2023, inviting members to disciplinary proceedings and purporting to dismiss the National Executive Director by a letter dated March 17, 2023,” he said.

The Jubilee National Chairperson further accused Kioni of making a decision that the party would not field candidates in Kandara and Garissa Township constituencies and Elgeyo Marakwet county senatorial contest during the by-elections without consulting the party organs.

He said that only Kega who is the acting Secretary General or his Deputy Joshua Kutuny can issue a valid notice to convene a National Executive Council meeting given that Uhuru whom he referred to as the former party leader ceased being the leader of the party in March as per the law.

“The operationalisation of section 6(1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act provides that a retired President shall not hold office in any political party for more than six months after ceasing to hold office as President, that is why we have a new acting party leader in office,” said Dzuya.

Jubilee National Executive Council made changes on February 9 replacing the former Ndaragwa MP with Kega as the acting Secretary General. The changes were approved by the Registrar of Political Parties only for the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal to overturn them.

Recently, the Kega faction named Nominated MP Sabina Chege as the acting party leader to replace Uhuru, accusing him of failing to promote political consultation, engagement and cooperation among members during his tenure.

“Pending the convening of a special National Delegates Convention, Nominated MP Sabina Chege has been appointed to be the acting party leader replacing former President Uhuru Kenyatta who has ceased holding that office,” said Kega.

The Eala MP insisted that any communication from the former President regarding Jubilee is not binding and has no legal consequence. He advised Uhuru to accept that he is no longer the party leader and to peacefully enjoy his retirement as a former head of state.

The Kega faction also replaced party Vice Chairman David Murathe with Eldas MP Adan Keynan while Kitui Woman MP Rachael Nyamai replaced Kagwe Gichohi as the National Treasurer.