Six elected MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto (pictured) will be hauled before a Jubilee disciplinary committee on accusations of disrespecting President Uhuru Kenyatta and defying party positions.
With five nominated senators awaiting their fate following trial by the party over disloyalty, sources within Jubilee disclosed yesterday that the six National Assembly members are next to be dragged through disciplinary proceedings as the president stamps his authority in the party.
Jubilee Deputy Secretary General Caleb Kositany (Soy), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) who are vocal supporters of Ruto will be required to defend their loyalty to the party.
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Should an MP be expelled from a party that sponsored them to Parliament, they would lose their seat, but that would only be the case once they exhaust the appeal process that goes all the way up to the Supreme Court.
A senior party official told The Standard that the lawmakers will soon be dragged to the party’s National Disciplinary Committee and their fate determined alongside that of the five nominated senators who were tried. A report arising from the proceedings is ready for tabling before the party’s National Executive Committee.
“We have six MPs we want to take through the disciplinary process for constantly abusing the President and openly going against the party position. The cases will be consolidated with those of the five nominated senators,” said the official.
“It is on this basis that NEC has not sat to deliberate on the report of the National Disciplinary Committee on the five senators. We want them dispensed with in a single sitting,” added the official, who sought anonymity. The committee’s recommendations can be altered by NEC.
But in a quick response, some of the targeted members said they had not been served with summons but dared the party to proceed with the plan, declaring they would defend themselves robustly.
Ngunjiri acknowledged he was aware the party planned to extend the purge on rebel MPs to key counties.
“They are planning to follow us to the constituencies especially in key counties like Nakuru to try and make us unpopular. We know the purge will soon shift to key counties and some of us are the target. We ask those pushing for that agenda to wait because the General Election is just around the corner,” he said.
Ngunjiri sensationally claimed that some emissaries had been sent to reconcile him with the President and further alleged he had been enticed with an offer of Sh10 million to switch camps.
“None has told me about facing the Jubilee disciplinary committee but all I can say is that some people have been trying to reach out to me, wanting to reconcile me with Uhuru. I have categorically told them that I have no problem with the president. All I have been fighting for is for Jubilee to keep its promise to Deputy President Ruto,” said Ngunjiri.
He went on: “I want to tell those offering me money and a bus to donate to a school of my choice in Bahati that am a principled politician and my stand has been and will always be; let the President honour his promise to his deputy in the 2022 succession. Anything away from that is a big no!.”
He was apparently referring to Uhuru’s 2013 statement that he would finish his two terms then support Ruto in 2022 to ascend to the presidency and rule for 10 years.
It also emerged that that there are plans to try and politically destabilise Ruto’s allies in Nakuru ahead of Uhuru’s visit to the area.
“There is a planned visit by the President to launch a road (Nakuru-Murunyu Road) and the upgrade of the Lanet airstrip. And that explains the heightened political activity to either bring the MPs back to the fold or render them irrelevant by the time the he comes,” alleged a source.
Kositany said he was not surprised by the decision to target him. “It has been coming. It must have taken them long to summon me,” said the MP who is also in trouble for countermanding decisions by his boss, Secretary General Raphael Tuju.
“I have not heard of such plans but I can tell them that I am ready. I will only make one demand of having such a hearing public so that the country knows what is happening in the party,” said Kositany.
Sudi dismissed the threats to subject him to party disciplinary hearings arguing that those going after him have more to answer for harassing those who stood by the President and embracing Jubilee’s opponents.
“I have not heard anything about this. Hiyo ni fitina tu. Ni upuuzi (That’s just gossip and nonesense). But I am ready to face them if asked to because there is nothing to fear. My first vote went to President Kenyatta. We campaigned for him and ensured his vote was protected. I have voted thrice for his presidency. If he had contested even in 2007, I would have voted for him,” Sudi said.
He added: “I am not shaken at all. Who talks of respect yet watu waliomuheshimu wamesombwa na maji (Those who respected him have been dislodged). I have nothing to apologise for if called.”
Wahome declined to comment, saying she could only give her views after being officially served with an invitation by the committee.
“I have not received any communication. It would be speculative for me to start commenting on a matter I am not aware of,” said the Kandara MP, who has turned to be one of the fiercest critic of Uhuru from Mt Kenya.
The MP had in January accused Uhuru of being the “biggest existential threat to Kenya’s declining economy, freedom of expression and democracy.”
“I’m not aware of any disciplinary action against me by the party. I have never disrespected the President at any forum whether in private or public,” said Gachagua.
Sudi recently vowed to never set foot in State House over what he termed as disparaging remarks by Uhuru during the National Assembly PG meeting that toppled Ben Washiali and Cecily Mbarire from their posts of Majority Whip and deputy respectively.
“You (Uhuru) even threatened us saying you were once told that you resemble your father but your character is similar to your mother’s,” said Sudi then.
“Do not kill us…you have forgotten we represent Kenyans. Next time when you call us show a little respect. We have families. Some of the lawmakers are even older than you,” Sudi had said.
Kositany has previously been accused by Tuju of using the party’s stationery without authority. He also has a penchant of countermanding his boss on party issues.
Tuju recently censured Kositany over his continued use of the party stationery to write to some of the county assemblies to contradict communications from his office.
“You are on record as having taken the party to court that you eventually withdrew. Your latest letter ‘demanding’ documentation from the office of the SG, where you are the deputy and you proceed to give ultimatum is puzzling if not some rather desperate political posturing,” he said in response to demands by Kositany on party financial accounts.
The disciplinary committee has since made a report to the party’s NEC on rebel nominated Senators Millicent Omanga, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo, Victor Prengei and Mary Seneta Yiane.
“Notice is hereby given that the National Disciplinary Committee made a consolidated determination on July 5, 2020 relating to the above referenced matters and pursuant to article 13.1:12 of the party constitution, made a report on the same to the National Executive Committee for further action,” reads a notice by committee vice chairperson Wanjiku Nduati.
Curiously, top Jubilee officials led by Tuju, vice chairperson David Murathe and Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata, who was the accuser, have remained cagey over the findings of the committee
[Additional reporting by Stephen Mkawale, Titus Too and Francis Ngige]