The ruling Jubilee Party has vowed to move to court to challenge the outcome of the just-concluded Kiambaa by-election.
The party’s National Management Committee today claimed the result was manipulated in favour of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna.
Njuguna won against his closest rival Kariri Njama of Jubilee by garnering 21,773 votes against 21,263.
The latest development comes amid claims that millions of shillings allocated for the campaigns was at the heart of the infighting among top party leaders.
Some reports indicate that Jubilee forked out millions of shillings to finance the campaigns that were spearheaded by the parliamentary leadership.
This triggered a blame game with a section of Kieleweke MPs demanding the resignation of Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju and Vice Chairperson David Murathe.
The secretariat on the other hand demanded that those who were in charge of the campaigns account for every shilling that was allocated for the campaigns.
But after a National Management Committee (NMC) meeting in Nairobi today, the leaders declared that no official would be ejected from office based on the by-election result that they said was rigged.
Murathe also dismissed claims that up to Sh300 million was allocated for the campaigns, terming this ''propaganda and fake news''.
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“We are not satisfied with IEBC’s results; we have concrete evidence to show that manipulation was done by certain individuals. The numbers that came out of the polling centres were not the same as those transmitted to the tallying centres. It is not yet over,” said Murathe.
“There is a lot of fake news and propaganda by people keen to see blood and they want to see Jubilee fighting, they want to see blame game. Be very careful with fake news, like I read somewhere that the team on the ground was given Sh300 million. There was nothing like that,” he added.
Murathe described the meeting as cordial, adding that they agreed not to engage in blame game over the outcome of the by-election.
He, however, admitted that the secretariat was not involved in the campaigns as it should have been, adding that they only participated in providing materials that saw the constituency painted red.
The Secretary of the Jubilee Party coalition Aden Keynan said that the party would soon move to court to challenge the Kiambaa by-election outcome.
He designated the party's candidate in the race Njama Kariri – who was also present at the Jubilee headquarters – as the Kiambaa MP-elect, signalling a bruising court battle in challenging the outcome.
“We are going to court to prove that the election was rigged and Kariri Njama is our MP-elect,” said Keynan.
The Eldas lawmaker accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of messing up with the tallying process.
“We wish to categorically state that we are dissatisfied with how the IEBC managed the by-election, particularly the tallying process. We demand a recount of the vote and will in the coming days pursue this,” added Keynan.
The meeting further deliberated on rejuvenating the Party at the grassroots level through public engagements with its members.
Njama said that he was ready to fight for his win to the bitter end and he was in Jubilee to stay. There have been claims that he could be considering ditching Jubilee for the Deputy President William Ruto-linked UDA after the loss.
“I can say with authority that we won and I want to assure our supporters that we will fight for this win till we get it,” he said.
“I will work closely with the government to ensure that there is no void in Kiambaa in terms of leadership. Even if we were to have another by-election tomorrow I will still vie on Jubilee because that is the party of choice,” added Njama.
Muranga County Woman Rep Sabina Chege explained that there was no budget but efforts to save the party.
“We didn’t go to campaign for the money, it was to save face. The claims of Sh140million spent is propaganda by UDA members. It's IEBC we are faulting for the outcome and we are headed to court to challenge the results,” she said.
According to sources, the Kieleweke wing is reported to have had its internal fights, with no one directly in charge of the campaign team.
“There were parallel teams. The secretariat was locked out and the politicians were running the show,” disclosed an official within a top Jubilee leader's circles.
He said,” the team even declined to set up a tallying centre. It (team) was a no show at the Kanunga Ward meeting.”
On the UDA side, the team had a well-coordinated team that had a tallying centre at the UDA headquarters along Riara Road in Nairobi, getting real-time updates from the agents at polling centres.
The party allied to DP Ruto had about 300 agents for the 154 polls stations and had the provisional results by 7pm, which saw the team break into early celebrations despite the official results declared by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission following day.
Jubilee had none and there were reports some of its agents decamped to UDA.
In Muguga Ward, it was reported some of the people viewed as 'technocrats' within the party were initially sidelined by the politicians and moved in at the last minute and saved the day.
“The last-minute intervention by these leaders saved the situation. They came in to boost the team as it emerged that there were many centres of power calling the shots instead of having one person in charge and coordinating the campaigns,” said Tom Alila, a Jubilee party strategist.
Murathe is now demanding an audit of the Kiambaa and Muguga by-elections, where he noted that the secretariat was sidelined after the Juja loss.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said UDA was organized.
“It’s team is very committed to its cause. They are sure of themselves, confident, and aggressive. They are well-coordinated. And they have their 2022 candidate primed and in top form,” he said.
He added “Jubilee is not as organised (at the moment). UDA has no real baggage. It's enjoying its ‘newness’. It’s at its optimum. A well-oiled vicious disciplined campaign machine.”
He acknowledged that Jubilee was at “It’s at its lowest. It’s campaign machine is none-existent. It’s struggling to get itself into shape. Still struggling with infighting," he said.
Those leading the campaigns included senator Kimani Wamatangi, Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Jude Njomo (Kiambu), Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Wambugu, Wangare Mwaniki (Kigumo) Sabina Chege, Kanini Kega (Kieni), Amos Kimunya.