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Friday, 07 Apr 2017 16:13 EATamboleokata@gmail.com
Politicians eyeing various elective seats on the Jubilee Party ticket in Nakuru County are calling on the Party`s National Election Board (NEB) and police to exercise vigilance during the forthcoming party`s primaries to avert chaos. Nakuru Town West Parliamentary aspirant David Karuri wants the two bodies to work in concert with a view of ensuring the critical process goes on without incident.
Past mini elections of the Jubilee Party have been marred by violence that has left people injured and the party discredited, and Mr Karuri says it is now incumbent upon the party to ensure free and fair primaries in the exercise that is slated for April 21.
Mr Karuri called on the Government to consider widespread calls by sections of leaders and voters to gazette 21 April as a public holiday to allow Jubilee supporters to turn out in large numbers and participate in the party`s nominations. He expressed concern at the manner in which violence had dented voting exercises at the Nakuru Jubilee Party branch, with architects of the chaos going scot free and allowed to assume leadership responsibilities in the party.
The aspirant urged voters and candidates to tolerate one another's political views, saying the political leaders should prioritize integration in their campaign agenda and refrain from divisive campaign gimmicks which he says will only polarize Nakuru which is a multi-ethnic area.
His sentiments come in the wake of a brawl at the party`s headquarters three weeks ago that saw Nakuru Town West and East Constituencies failing to nominate a representative to the party`s National Election Board.
The chaos were sparked by what was determined by the County`s Jubilee Secretariat to have been a predetermined list of nominees allegedly authored by Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria which was consequently rebuffed by the party`s officials and supporters. The party`s disciplinary committee summoned Mr Gikaria last week for disciplinary action.
However, as nomination jitters prevail, aspirants feel increasingly discontented at such disciplinary measures by the party and want the disciplinary committee and the NEB to institute a more punitive retribution mechanism against wayward politicians in a bid to stop a recurrence of violence.
Separately, former Nakuru Mayor Mohammed Suraw has risen to the defense of the presidency amid scathing accusations from the opposition over alleged abuse of public servants in the Jubilee Party campaigns.
Mr Suraw, who is eyeing the Nakuru Town West parliamentary seat, wants the opposition to counter the ruling party on an issue based platform instead of engaging in a baseless smear campaign which he terms as aggression against the governing party.
He was reacting at calls by NASA to Jubilee to desist from engaging Cabinet and Principal Secretaries in their campaigns saying the latter enjoys a prerogative to use the public officers in its quest to inform the citizenry about government initiated development projects over its four year term.
He was speaking in Nakuru West during his meet the people tour where he exuded confidence at what he described as a decisive victory for the Jubilee Party in the forthcoming polls.
The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County