Jubilee leadership wrangles spill over to Nairobi County Assembly

Nairobi City County Assembly MCAs allied to Azimio Coalition, led by Majority Leader Peter Imwatok Whip Moses Ogeto during a press conference at City hall on Thursday, May, 04, 2023. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The ongoing battle for control of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party is slowly spilling over to the Nairobi County Assembly.

Already, there are two Jubilee factions in the assembly, with the majority shifting their support to the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

Last week, for instance, Jubilee was forced to eject three Ward reps from the assembly's leadership positions in what they termed as siding with those from President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni wrote to the House Majority Whip Moses Ogeto on April 20 over the move to eject the Jubilee Ward reps.

"We have information that some Azimio members from the Jubilee Party have continued to work and vote against the Azimoi coalition position, including attending parliamentary group meetings of UDA held in State House on various dates," said Kioni.

The three de-whipped from various House committees and leadership roles are nominated MCA Ms Mary Wanjiru, Mr Kamau Thuo of Karura Ward and Kariobangi South's Mr Robert Mbatia.

And the Jubilee wrangles have elicited the debate about the numbers in the assembly between the Kenya kwanza and Azimio coalitions.

Both have 55 members, but the Azimio side emerged the majority side since they had the support of Jubilee's 10 members and Wiper Party's six.

With the current Jubilee wrangles, Kenya Kwanza is slowly gaining numbers and in case of any move such as staging a coup against the county speaker, it is believed that the side could easily succeed.

But in an interview with The Standard, Deputy Speaker Paul Kiguathi, alias Kados, who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket, downplayed the fears of a coup.

“When it comes to the assembly, one must cross the floor -- meaning you have moved completely -- so as to catch the eyes of the speaker,” he explained.

“In that case, the speaker has powers to declare your seat vacant and no one will dare do that (cross the floor) at the moment; the House is not controlled from outside as it has its own Standing Orders,” he added.

Mr Kiguathi said there was need to await the Jubilee National Delegates Conference called by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, whom he said was still legally mandated to run the former ruling party.

On Tuesday, the Kanini Kega faction picked former Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege as the new party leader in an acting capacity.

Mr Robert Mbatia, a Ward rep elected on Jubilee ticket, explained that at the moment the 10 Jubilee MCAs are divided but majority have shifted to Kenya Kwanza.