Court order halts Kega faction's bid to take over Jubilee party

Jubilee party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni (centre) with other officials addressing the media on how the government is meddling in their party affairs. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

A plan by EALA MP Kanini-led faction to take over the reins of the former ruling Jubilee party has hit a snag after the embattled Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni moved to court and obtained orders barring the move.

The Political Parties and Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) has issued conservatory orders staying an earlier decision by the Kanini faction to kick out Kioni and Jubilee vice chairperson David Murathe from their positions amid the intensified supremacy wrangles.

 The order was issued on June 14 by Justice Desma Nungo with the case set to be heard on June 27.

“...That pending the hearing and determination of the application inter partes, interim conservatory orders are hereby issued staying the 1st respondents' decision dated 30th May 2023 including any decisions, actions, resolutions or pronouncements taken pursuant thereto,” read the order.

The court order is one of several issued in the continued infighting within former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party.

In a statement last month, Kega said the decision to  expel Kioni and Murathe was reached following a resolution of the party’s internal disciplinary committee, which was also adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

“The committee found that Jeremiah Kioni is guilty of gross misconduct. Article 14.3.1. provides that the lack of respect for organs of the party is indiscipline. No organ of the party was spared by the member in his disregard,” Kega said.

Murathe was found guilty of gross misconduct and lack of respect for the decisions of the party.

Kega also accused the duo of disrespecting party organs by neglecting duties as directed by the party.

“Kioni failed and neglected to carry out his duties as directed by the party by failing to call a NEC meeting as expected, one of his duties under the Constitution.

“The Committee found that the penalty to expel the member (Murathe) may be too harsh in the circumstances but was also alive to the danger posed to the party for failing to comply with the financial requirements to qualify for disbursement of political parties’ funds and the compliance was set to be triggered by the charged member,” Kega said.

The order comes days after the Kega faction announced its withdrawal from the Deed of Agreement for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.

The decision, however, complicates matters for Nominated MP Sabina Chege who is the National Assembly Minority Deputy Whip.

Already, Azimio’s parliamentary leadership led by Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi has written to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula to remove Chege from her position and have her replaced by MP Mark Mwenje.