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Jubilee targets Moses Kuria, Mbarire, Omanga in new purge

POLITICS
By Jacob Ng’etich | May 13th 2021
Gatundu MP Moses Kuria during a service at House of Hope Church, Kayole in Nairobi, on Sunday, January 10, 2020 [David Njaaga, Standard]

The powerful Jubilee Party organ has endorsed the purge of three MPs for opposing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and supporting the ideals of other parties.

The National Management Committee (NMC) yesterday directed the party’s disciplinary committee to begin the process that could lead to the expulsion of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire and Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga.

In yesterday’s meeting at Jubilee headquarters, the NMC noted that the Gatundu South MP has been espousing the ideals of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) in contravention of the Political Parties Act.

Jubilee vice chair David Murathe said they had zeroed in on Mr Kuria for supporting George Koimburi, a PEP candidate, for the Juja by-election yet Jubilee has a candidate.

The by-election in Juja was occasioned by the demise of MP Francis Waititu popularly know as Wakapee on February 22 and Jubilee fronted his widow, Susan Njeri Waititu. The by-election is scheduled for May 18.

Retain discipline

Mr Murathe said the MP has been actively campaigning for Mr Koimburi.

“We have asked the Jubilee disciplinary committee to take up the matter and summon him to answer to the accusations. If he is culpable, we will remove him from the party through expulsion; we must retain discipline in our party,” said Murathe.

He said Ms Omanga and Ms Mbarire will face the disciplinary committee for voting against the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Murathe said support for BBI was a party position and therefore those who voted against it did so in disregard of the same.

During debate preceding the voting at the National Assembly, Mbarire was among the MPs who passionately spoke out against the BBI Bill, arguing it clawed back the gains of the 2010 Constitution.

“The minute we have the Executive be the head of Parliament and the Judiciary, then this would be the beginning of the end of democracy. This Bill takes away the gains we fought for with our lives and sweat and blood and should it pass, one day we will regret our decision,” she said.

She added, “Where will we get justice if a judge knows that they could easily lose their job?” 

Senator Omanga opposed the Bill, saying it would put more pressure on the ‘hustlers’ who were already suffering because of the poor economic situation.

“The Bill will see over-taxation of the hustlers. I oppose it,” said Omanga.

For their opposition to the Bill, Mbarire and Omanga will have a date with the Lumatete Muchai-led Jubilee disciplinary committee.

This will not be the first time Omanga is facing the committee. Last year, she was among five other nominated senators who were accused of openly defying their party leader during the Senate leadership purge. The others were Mary Seneta, Falhada Iman, Naomi Waqo, Alice Milgo and Isaac Mwaura.

The National Executive Council had endorsed their removal, but the Political Parties and Dispute Tribunal saved them.

The six were accused of snubbing a State House meeting last year where President Kenyatta had sought to ratify 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.

Also targeted for removal is UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina, who Jubilee has accused of serving in positions of two political outfits.

Before joining UDA, Ms Maina held a senior position in Jubilee.

Murathe said they had also agreed as NMC that they were interested in the party resolution mechanism that UDA had sought for after they wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties seeking dissolution of a 2018 partial coalition pact with PDR, now UDA.

UDA has written to the registrar declaring a dispute with Jubilee following the move to end the coalition pact.

“As provided for in the coalition agreement deposited in your office on May 30, 2018, in compliance with Section 10 (4) of the Political Parties Act No 11 of 2012 Schedule 3 thereof, and further pursuant to provisions of Article 6 of the said Coalition agreement, we have therefore declared dispute,” Maina said.

Last year, the party removed MPs allied to Ruto from plum positions in Parliament, including former National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. 

Others who were shown the door were Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Bomet’s Christopher Lang’at and John Kinyua of Laikipia, all chairmen of key Senate committees.

Jubilee Deputy Secretary-General Caleb Kositany was also stripped of the position.

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