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URP officials threaten to stop Jubilee parties’ merger over contested list of delegates

By Rawlings Otieno | September 5th 2016

NAIROBI: A section of the United Republican Party (URP) members have threatened to stop the Jubilee merger on Saturday, if their names will not be in the list of delegates.

The delegates from Nakuru County said that the names of the officials were substituted with other names who are not bona fide members of the merging party.

The leaders led by Nakuru County URP Chairman Joshua Rotich accused the party's Secretary General Fred Muteti and the Executive Director David Koech of presenting an altered list to the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u.

Mr Rotich said that the original list had 20 names and 11 out of the list has been altered in what he said is still unclear.

"We are the only party among those merging that held election and names of officials submitted to the headquarters. The officials elected are the ones to be on the lists of delegates," said Rotich.

Rotich who is also Kuresoi South National Assembly aspirant faulted the plans by the Deputy President William Ruto's party in altering a genuine list with people not members of the party.

On Monday outside the URP Headquarters offices, the over 10 officials threatened to use legal means to stop the merger plans until their issues are sorted by the Secretariat.

In a veiled threat, the officials also said that there are many options including shifting political posts if the process of forming the merger is shrouded in controversy.

"Both the President and his Deputy has assured us that the nominations will be free and fair but the way things are being done including altering the list of delegates is bringing fears to us," added Rotich.

Former Kuresoi MP James Koskei who accompanied Rotich and others, urged the DP to move in and stem a possible fallout.

Mr Koskei accused a TNA official from Nakuru County of being behind the interference with the list.
"We are aware that there is a sitting TNA official who has interfered with the list. The name of his driver and bodyguard are appearing in the list. I want to request the DP to help resolve this matter so that we can start on the right footing," said Mr Koskei.

But when contacted URP's Secretary General Fred Muteti denied allegations into his involvement in the alteration of the list and instead accused Mr Rotich's group as 'conmen' seeking relevance.

Mr Muteti denied that Rotich is the current chair, adding that he (Rotich) was in the party and has since joined renegade and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.

"The list we have is the official list of delegates and we have not altered any list. Mr Rotich was in URP but we learnt that he joined Chama Cha Mashinani," said Muteti.

According to the delegates, the National Steering Committee had asked branch chairmen to submit the lists of their officials.

"We were asked as branch chairs to submit the list to the headquarters. Anybody else who is not a chairman bringing the list of delegates is a stranger," said URP Meru branch chairman James Muthika.

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