Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 18 Sep 2017 14:00 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Former Meru governor has been confirmed as Party of National Unity (PNU) leader after striking a deal with President Kenyatta when he ditched Opposition NASA for Jubilee last week.
In a new twist that will further lend credence to the close association between the electoral commission, IEBC and the Jubilee government, the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u has cancelled an earlier gazette notice that had named former President Mwai Kibaki as the PNU leader.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 20 (1) (c) of the Political Parties Act, 2011, the list of party officials of the Party of Unity as contained in Gazette Notice No. 8315 of 2017, is cancelled. Dated the 11th September, 2017”, Ms Ndung’u says in the gazette notice published on Friday September 15.
According to PNU party sources, Munya's rapprochement with President Kenyatta was based on a number of offers, including his confirmation as the PNU party leader (which hit the rocks two months ago when former party officials moved to wrest the party from the governor) and financial support for the outfit.
The Registrar of Political Parties, whose office is part of the IEBC, delivered on the party ownership promise within three days of the Uhuru, Munya meeting - without any change of legal facts over the long-raging dispute between Munya and former party officials.
President Kenyatta on Tuesday last week met Munya at State House, Nairobi, after which he announced that Munya had agreed to support his re-election in the impending repeat elections.
“Met with Jubilee-affiliate PNU chairman Peter Munya and other officials at State House. The former Meru Governor stated that after consultations with party loyalists he and PNU would support me in the Oct 17 repeat elections”, the President posted on his Facebook page. No details were given on what agreement was reached during the State House meeting.
In a Gazette Notice dated August 16 and published on Friday August 25, Ms Ndung’u in the cancelled notice she had also replaced seven other officials elected alongside Mr Munya.
Ms Ndung’u stated in that Notice that the change of PNU leadership follows a judgment by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal delivered on June 20, 2017, which indicated that “the officials of the interested party in office as at 27th October, 2016 remain the bona fide office bearers of the interested party until a proper general meeting is held to elect national officials".
According to the Notice, the bona fide PNU officials included Mr John Kamama (Chairman), Irene Muronji (1st Vice chairperson), Paul Amayo (2nd Vice chairperson), John Anunda (Secretary General), Alphonse Musyoki (Organising Secretary), Mwajuma Rajab (Secretary, Finance), Genery Wando (Deputy Treasurer), Anna Chebet (Director of Elections), Prisca Mwita (National Women Chairperson), Beatrice Cherono (National Youth Chairperson) and Agnes Toya (NEC member).
“Any person with written submissions concerning the intended changes by the political party shall within seven days deposit them with the Registrar of Political Parties,” the notice reads.
Mr Munya was elected PNU leader in October 2016 in a National Delegates Conference that was disputed by a section of officials. This is after the Political Parties Dispute Resolution Tribunal nullified the dissolution of PNU.
The former governor and other new officials were gazetted in April, six months after their election.
They include Secretary General John Okemwa, Paul Rukaria (Deputy Secretary General), National vice chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao, National vice chairman-operations David Kamau, National Treasurer Peter Kaberia, Deputy National Treasurer Anastacia Munyendo and National organising Secretary Stephen Koskei among others.
The gazettement of Mr Munya and his team came after they moved to court and obtained orders compelling the Registrar of Political Parties to gazette them.
In June, after the ruling that has led to his ouster, Mr Munya accused the Political Parties’ Dispute Tribunal of making politically motivated rulings and called for investigations by the Judicial Service Commission.
“I am the PNU party leader and its only party members, who can remove me; not political machinations instigated by Jubilee,” Mr Munya remarked.
On June 20, the tribunal ordered PNU officials to leave office within seven days but Mr Munya’s team obtained a court order stopping their removal from office.