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Jubilee starts process to end pact with UDA party

POLITICS
By Allan Mungai | April 21st 2021
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju [PHOTO: WILLIS AWANDU]

Ruling Jubilee Party yesterday officially started the process to end its pre-election pact with Party of Development and Reforms (PDR) which rebranded to United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Raphael Tuju, Jubilee Party secretary-general yesterday wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu indicating intention to terminate a pre-election agreement with PDR, the political party that changed to UDA.

“After considering the prevailing political and legal hurdles facing the proposed coalition, (it) found it improper and untenable to complete the formulation of the coalition,” read a statement by Jubilee.

“This is to request that you take note of the content of this letter and to put on record our revocation of the provisional coalition agreement lodged in your offices on May 6, 2018 that was never completed,” Tuju said. 

Changed it leadership

The secretary general said the decision to split with PDR was agreed upon at a National Management Committee meeting held on Monday.

PDR has five elected lawmakers in the National Assembly and Senate, led by Deputy Majority Leader and Isiolo senator Fatuma Dullo.

Others are Wajir county MP Fatuma Gedi, MPs Ahmed Bashane (Tarbaj), Mark Lomunokol  (Kacheliba) and Sophia Abdi (Ijara).

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PDR was initially Party of Action (POA) associated with Tuju, before it changed leadership when it entered an alliance with Jubilee Party in 2017 after the dissolution of 11 other parties.

Tuju argued that UDA was a new party since all the PDR officials that were engaged in coalition discussions have been changed.

Yesterday, Ms Nderitu told The Standard that once she receives the communication from Jubilee, she will change the original pact signed and deposited in her office and communicate the decision.

The decision to part ways with UDA now frees Jubilee to discipline members allied to Deputy President William Ruto who has shown an inclination towards UDA.

The move could be interpreted as limiting DP Ruto’s options, especially after he said last week that UDA was an option because of its existing relationship with Jubilee.

“There is a coalition agreement between Jubilee and UDA…it is the next best option. UDA will become an option if Jubilee continues with the expulsion spree going on,” Ruto said in an interview on Citizen TV.

Jubilee said yesterday that the agreement it had with PDR had never been formalised since some requirements were not met.

Under the requirements of the Political Parties (Registration) Regulations 2019 and the Political Parties Act at schedule 3 (3), the members of the coalition were to file some six documents to the registrar.

They include a formally signed agreement, coalition nomination rules, election rules, organs and their functions as well as provisions for dissolution and dispute Resolution.

Strange bedfellows

“Whereas a working relationship has subsisted in the few counties that the parties intended, the members did not move or have not met these requirements as is expected by both Statute and the Regulations,” Jubilee wrote.

Jubilee explained that it was pushed to cooperate with PDR in West Pokot, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, and Mandera to counter the challenge of clan-guided democracy.

“That cooperation did not include any other county out of the specifically mentioned counties,” said Tuju.

Since it was rebranded to UDA, the party has taken a parallel lane to Jubilee’s and is given life by DP Ruto’s allies in Jubilee.

But Tuju said the changes that the party has gone through were not what Jubilee bargained for and the two parties had become ‘strange bedfellows’ on account of UDA adopting a new identity. 

“There being no harmonisation of our policy and vision, we have found ourselves as strange bedfellows especially with the UDA use of their identity as “hustlers” which has a negative dictionary meaning and connotation,” Tuju wrote.

He wrote that UDA’s “hustler identity” was stoking class and ethnic divisions and contrasted with Jubilee’s Tuko Pamoja motto, which he claimed sought to unite Kenyans.

Further, he said, UDA has become Jubilee’s competitor, and that has closed any doors to formalising the coalition.

“Apart from fielding candidates against Jubilee, some of their members have continued to refer to Jubilee Party in derogatory terms in the public domain, making it impossible to engage in any coalition-building discourse,” said Tuju.

As a recourse, said the secretary-general, Jubilee has decided to pull out of any further negotiations intended to complete the coalition process and to cease any further engagement and association with PDR.

“PDR’s officials, symbols, and name have metamorphosed beyond recognition in comparison to the PDR we worked with previously.

“However and without prejudice, all members of the dissolved coalition holding leadership positions in the Assemblies shall continue serving as such,” said Tuju.

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