Chaos and political back-stabbing were the hallmark of Jubilee elections for interim officials conducted this week across the country.
In the end, the winners gave a stamp of approval while the losers claimed there was rigging with some threatening to defect even as the party now moves to consolidate its base ahead of yet another bruising battle of nominations.
In Meru, the party is grappling with intense rivalry between Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Dr Kilemi Mwiria who are eyeing the governor’s seat on the party’s ticket.
In Thursday’s elections at Thiiri Centre, Mr Murungi’s allies won the Jubilee elections. Some aspirants claimed the “Kikali” alliance involving Mr Murungi, Woman Representative Florence Kajuju and Igembe South Constituency MP Mithika Linturi rigged the vote.
“The former ‘Bus’ party carried the day. I am firm supporter of Jubilee because I believe in their ideologies but from what I saw, everything was made to fit the Kikali outfit and it is unlikely that I will win at the nominations,” said Jubilee Woman Representative aspirant Elizabeth Kailemia
In Embu, Mr Elias Njeru Kathiga, a close ally of Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire who is eyeing the governor’s post was elected chairman.
During the elections held at Mountain Breeze Hotel, the three gubernatorial candidates and Manyatta MP John Muchiri and several aspirants agreed to share the 19 posts according to constituencies. Manyatta, Runyenjes, Mbeere South got five posts each while Mbeere North got four.
In Marsabit, Jubilee officials dismissed a list of officials submitted to the party headquarters after Friday’s polls. Jubilee pointman Saku MP Dido Raso said the bona fide list has been sent to the headquarters.
He said after elections overseen by the party secretariat, Mr Roba Umuro was elected chairman. Others are Jeremy Ledaany (secretary), Jacho Jillo (Organising Secretary).
In the initial discredited list, Mr J.J Falana was elected chairman, Mamo Molu (secretary), Isaack Ibrahim (treasurer), Peter Likayo (organising secretary) and Sarah Eris (Youth League leader). They are allied to Moyale MP Roba Duba.
But Mr Raso said the officials are former ODM lieutenants who recently indicated they would defect to Jubilee.
“As far as I am concerned, with the supervision of the Jubilee secretariat, those together with others are the party leaders in Marsabit,” Mr Raso said.
In Tharaka-Nithi, businessmen George Mati and Isaac Mugo were elected chairman and secretary respectively.
Chaos marred primaries in Nyeri but it was Governor Nderitu Gachagua who suffered the biggest blow.
Gachagua’s rival camp led by former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina and entrepreneur Thuo Mathenge carried the day, getting to select allies to sit in the committee.
HELD SECRET MEETING
Several MPs, ward reps and aspirants in Mr Maina’s camp held a secret meeting at a hotel in Nyeri town the night before the polls were held.
“What is happening is totally unacceptable because we thought Jubilee is an all-inclusive party. But we see that incumbents want to control the party,” said senatorial aspirant Wambugu Nyamu.
In Kirinyaga the allies of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru bagged almost all the seats .
Former MP David Koech who was among the members of the secretariat who presided the exercise said like Murang’a, leaders from Kirinyaga made history nationally for the peaceful polls.
But group allied to Governor Ndathi wants the polls nullified. Led by Mr Jeremiah Gateri, the group dismissed the polls which were held on Wednesday as null and void.
The group complained that members of the political parties which were dissolved to form the Jubilee political outfit during the delegates conference at Kasarani were not involved in the polls.
At the same time, the group passed a vote of no confidence in the local presidential elections co-ordinator, Njogu Barua.
“We do not want Mr Barua to co-ordinate the presidential campaigns in the region. He is not neutral and the President should replace him with another person who is acceptable by all residents,” said Ms Lydia Wairiuko.
In Mombasa, the chances of former Kisauni MP and assistant minister Anania Mwaboza securing the Jubilee ticket to run for the gubernatorial seat dimmed after his team lost to that of his archrival Suleiman Shahbal.
Through the former Jubilee Alliance Party Mombasa chair Ali Ramadhan Mwatsahu, the Mwaboza group found itself in a precarious situation when the delegate system was used to elect officials.
Sensing danger of its support-based being locked out of the polls, the Mwaboza group went berserk causing mayhem at the School of Government College that resulted in the loss of property.
After a rigorous exercise that ran into the night, the group allied to Shahbal emerged the winners with Matano Chengo (chairman), Patrick Kabundu (secretary), Maamun Abubakar (Treasurer) and Amina Abdalla (organising secretary).
In Nakuru County, the appointment of a close confidant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Nakuru Town MP David Manyara, as the interim chairman, appears like a game-changer.
Governor Kinuthia Mbugua appears to be the main loser as he was reportedly backing Mr James Karimi Waiganjo from Naivasha as the chairman. Close associates of Mr Kinuthia say that he is backing his close ally Mr Karanja Kabage for the seat of senator.
It now means Ms Susan Kihika is the biggest winner as she seems comfortable working with Mr Manyara.
In Laikipia, minority communities have demanded a repeat of the elections saying they were sidelined by their majority counterparts. They gave the Jubilee headquarters seven days to order a repeat of the elections and fair distribution of posts to reflect the diversity.
Former Laikipia Kenya National Union of Teachers executive secretary Dickson Oseko said he was to be proposed for the secretary’s post at the county level by Laikipia West Sub County but all the proposals were trashed by elected leaders and the majority Kikuyus took all the seats.
Mr Oseko said minority ethnic communities formed 40 per cent of areas like Laikipia West and he was surprised that none of the communities was given any seat both at sub-county and county levels.
In Trans Nzoia, divisions have emerged among party supporters following the elections.
“The winners in this exercise are the elected leaders while the losers are the aspiring leaders. It is clear that the exercise was skewed to favour the incumbent,” said Mrs Milcah Sugut, a member.
Other members, however, feel the exercise benefited everybody since it took in to account the ethnic balance of the main communities residing in the cosmopolitan region affirming the party’s call for unity.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria and Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau burnt midnight oil to ensure those allied to them are appointed into the county party campaign committee.
After intense lobbying, lawyer Simon Kamau was appointed chairman. Ms Jane Wanjiku (Kigumo), Mr Jamleck Irungu (Kangema) and Ms Rebecca Mwicigi (Gatanga) were appointed to deputise Mr Kamau who hails from Kiharu constituency.
The committee members are said to be loyal supporters of the two but majority are said to lean towards Mr Kamau who is eyeing the gubernatorial seat in 2017.
In Narok, the exercise divided county leaders right in the middle with Governor Samuel Tunai leading one faction and Narok West MP Patrick Ntutu who is eyeing to unseat Mr Tunai on the other.
The elections were delayed for hours as the Ntutu faction sought to convince Governor Tunai to agree to a back room deal where the two leaders would draw a list of nine names each and impose the list on the county party membership. he Tunai camp carried the day.
By Wanjohi Githae, Kennedy Kimanthi, Vivian Jebet, Charles Wanyoro, Alex Njeru, George Sayagie, Martin Mwaura, Philip Bwayo, Nicholas Komu, George Munene, Mwakera Mwajefa, Francis Mureithi, David Macharia