The fate of five Jubilee senators who snubbed a meeting convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured above) in May will be sealed next week.
Top-placed sources at the party have revealed that the hammer is just about to fall on Nominated Senators Millicent Omanga, Mary Seneta Yiane, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo and Alice Milgo for openly defying their party leader during the Senate leadership purge.
A National Executive Council (NEC) meeting will endorse an indictment meted on them by a disciplinary committee which sat down to probe their conduct following show-cause letters by Party Chairman Nelson Dzuya.
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The five absconded the State House meeting called by Kenyatta to ratify the removal of Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika from Leader of Majority and Majority Whip positions respectively.
They were replaced by West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio and his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata.
“When the NEC meet, they will look at the report, deliberate on it and either adopt, moderate or reject it,” Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe told The Standard yesterday.
Asked to confirm the date, Murathe cryptically answered: “It is the party leader who will invite NEC at his pleasure. In the meantime, we will continue waiting.”
When he spoke to The Standard yesterday, Dzuya was equally non-committal, only confirming that the report was ready and awaiting NEC to meet and decide. Like Murathe, he too appeared to suggest that the buck stopped at State House:
“Once the party leader calls a meeting, we will meet and decide the fate of the five nominated Senators,” Dzuya said.
The Jubilee Party Disciplinary Committee chaired by Lumatete Muchai concluded their hearings on show-cause submissions by five senators two months ago. Since then, there has been palpable silence on the matter.
While some of the senators rededicated themselves to the party on being jolted by the disciplinary proceedings, others moved on and continued their political association with Ruto.
“The senators committed no crime at all. They should have no disciplinary action in the first place unless the party decides to go wayward. It should not consider the report at all,” Jubilee Deputy Secretary-General Caleb Kositany said yesterday.
He said he had not yet seen the report and claimed whatever its contents, it was a concoction of high handedness at the top party level. The report was handed over to the party leader in late June as a top party secret for his consideration and guidance.
The NEC meeting comes at a time the composition of the council has been tilted in favour of President Kenyatta who has politically fallen out with his deputy. Initially, Ruto was seen to have slightly higher numbers at the NEC, but the removal of former National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale, Chief Whip Ben Washiali, Murkomen and Kihika weaken his control over the council, ceding it to Kenyatta.
The four were replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya (Majority leader) his Igembe North MP Maoka Maore (Majority whip) and Kang’ata. During the hearings, Omanga said she had failed to attend the meeting held at State House, Nairobi due to her inability to get any communication inviting her to the said event
She told the committee; “I did not get the message, and even right now I have tried to the search for that message in my inbox, but I have to admit it is impossible to get all these messages. When I realised I did not receive the message, I informed the Chief Whip.”
Prengei similarly blamed poor communication network in his home for his failure to attend the meeting. Senator Christine Zawadi escaped the noose after convincing the party that she had been caught up in the Presidential lock-down of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kilifi counties.
On Tuesday during the procedural motion moved by Murkomen to adjourn debate, Omanga, Waqo and Iman voted yes while Seneta voted no. Prengei was absent.
The Political Parties Act provides that a member may only be expelled from the party if they have infringed the party constitution.
According to Section 14(7) of the Act, the affected member must be given a fair hearing in accordance with the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the party constitution.
Article 16 of the Jubilee Party constitution says all members should conduct themselves with the highest standard of personal integrity and honour and shall not involve themselves in dishonourable conduct.
According to the law, Jubilee will submit fresh names from the party list to replace the axed Senators.
In the list, the next nominees in line are current Vice President of Law Society of Kenya Caroline Daudi, Jelagat Kamuren, Beatrice Gambo, Veronica Maina and Wambui Nyutu.