Blow to Kega's team as bid to take over Uhuru's Jubilee Party blocked

Jubilee secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni and party leader, former president Uhuru Kenyatta, during their National Delegates Convention at Nairobi Racecourse on Monday, May 22, 2023. [Samson Wire, Standard]

A faction of the Jubilee party led by East African Legislative Assembly MP Kanini Kega has been dealt a major blow after it was barred from running its affairs in the ensuing wrangles.

The Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) also forbade Kega's team of Joshua Kutuny, Neson Dzuya, Aden Keynan, Kenneth Gatobu, Fatuma Dullo, Samuel Arama, Advice Mundalo, and Sabina Chege from calling the Annual General Meeting or issuing any communication regarding retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's party.

The order implies that Kega's team's bid to take over the party's leadership and hand it to Kenya Kwanza has hit a snag.

"Pending the hearing and determination of the complaint and applications filed herein inter partes, interim conservatory orders are hereby issued restraining all parties hereto and or their representatives jointly and severally from issuing any communication and or making any public representations on behalf of Jubilee party," the tribunal, led by Desma Nungo, ruled.

The ruling follows a case Jubilee secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni filed the case alongside the party's vice chair David Murathe and Mr Kagwe Gichogi challenging actions by Kega and his team.

Published a notice

Their lawyer Jackson Awele argued that Kega had, in violation of the court orders, published a notice indicating that the party was withdrawing from Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance.

Awele told the tribunal that the notice was meant to defeat the orders of the court, which reinstated Kioni's faction.

The lawyer said Kega's team was aware of the orders issued but reportedly chose to ignore them.

"Unless restrained, this tribunal will be perpetually engaged on a wild goose chase that will make nonsense of these proceedings and undermine its authority. The respondents' conduct is therefore a willful attempt to undermine the orders and authority of this tribunal and to defeat the substratum of the disputes before the tribunal," argued Awele.

Kioni filed an affidavit in support of the case in which he stated that the Kega faction had expelled him and Murathe but the tribunal reversed the decision.

At the same time, he said the tribunal also barred the Registrar of the Political Parties from ratifying the Kega's team decision.

Kioni said the net effect of the orders was that they restored Jubilee's leadership, which then called for the National Delegated Convention (NDC).

East African Legislative Assembly MP Kanini Kega addressing the media in Nairobi on May 2, 2023, where he announced that former president Uhuru Kenyatta had been removed as Jubilee party leader and nominated MP Sabina Chege (right) appointed in his place. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

He said despite the NDC making changes to Julibee's top leadership, Kega's faction has continued to undermine the party's operations by calling for the termination of its Azimio coalition agreement.

"The above notices (seeking to withdraw the party from Azimio Coalition and seeking to hold a National Delegates Convention) are ex facie weighty and bear a far-reaching ramification on the Jubilee Party and unless stayed to await the outcome of these proceedings will pre-empt the judgment of this court and render it redundant and or a fait accompli," said Kioni.

Initially, Kega had 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. I provide that the lack of respect for the organs of the party is indiscipline. No party organ was spared by the member in his disregard," Kega said.

Gross misconduct

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

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

However, the tribunal suspended the decision.

The order was issued on June 14, 2023, by Nungo with the case set to be heard on June 27, 2023.

"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," the order read.

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