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Jubilee in rush to consider appeals before IEBC deadline

The Jubilee Party is racing against time to dispense with the growing number of appeals lodged against nomination results before today’s deadline for parties to complete their primaries.

The party was forced to suspend issuance of certificates till next week, calling for time to determine the complaints raised by aggrieved aspirants.

Yesterday, the party said it had received more than 400 complaints and had only 30 rulings ready.

It had also dismissed six appeals and was handling 50 complaints daily.

LEGAL CHALLENGES
Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju told reporters they want to be sure of winners.

“We have postponed the issuance of certificates because of this process. We don’t want to make mistakes. We are still on track with our nominations,” he said.

“Our process of issuing nomination certificates is very thorough. We are not going to hand them out just like that.

“We have to be sure that you have won. We have to be sure that there is no appeal against you. We have to be sure that figures are such that there is no dispute.”

Parties must complete primaries by today, meaning that Jubilee Party may run into legal challenges if it decides to repeat any of the disputed nominations after today.

BIGGEST HURDLE

The party, in its first-ever primaries, has been trying to conclude what was the biggest test yet: keeping the party united as it filters its candidates for the August elections.

But, while it seemed to do well initially, at least 400 losers across the country lodged appeals with the Party’s Appeals Tribunal chaired by Ms Faith Waigwa.

Mr Tuju said some of the appeals were mere letters notifying the party “as a matter of record” of the irregularities but not necessarily seeking to overturn the results.

Yesterday, the tribunal was still holed up on the second floor of the Jubilee House, poring over figures posted by returning officers, complaints filed by losers, the tallying, reports and views from returning officers as well as responses from the victors.

Ms Waigwa, however, dispelled fears that the tribunal was racing against time to dispense with the appeals before the expiry of the deadline set by the IEBC for parties to conduct their primaries.

JAGUAR DISPUTES OUTCOME
She said the tribunal had powers to order repeat nominations even after the deadline.

The High Court in Malindi had set today as the last day for political parties to hold their primaries.

Many of those complaints came from Nairobi. They ranged from Kamukunji, Starehe, Roysambu, Dagoretti South and North to Embakasi Central as well as the position of Woman Representative and several MCAs.

The most pronounced case was that of musician Charles Njagua Kanyi, aka Jaguar.

Having lost to incumbent Maina Kamanda for the Starehe Constituency seat, the artiste ran to Jubilee House to file an appeal. The party suspended issuance of the certificate.

FIGHT OVER STAREHE SEAT
Yesterday, Mr Kamanda claimed that he had not been summoned by the party nor had he been given a list of the allegations against him.

“I won fairly in a free and fair nomination. I have not been summoned and, in any case, I am not the one who conducted the nominations,” he said at the party headquarters.

“You cannot annul a nomination through a press conference. There are channels to follow,” Mr Kamanda said.

However, he extended an olive branch to Jaguar.

“He is my son. And he has votes. We need to talk to him and ensure that we don’t lose votes in Nairobi,” he said.

A few minutes after he came to the party offices, his bitter opponent arrived. 

The musician was annoyed and his supporters jeered continually at the party officials.

“I am sure I won but he altered the results with the returning officer,” Mr Kanyi told reporters.

“I won. He lost. In democracy, there are no negotiations. He is buying time. Kamanda is old and he should relinquish the seat to the youth. He should be playing with his grandchildren.”

BALLOT STAFFING
In Roysambu, the 12 aspirants, including incumbent Waihenya Ndirangu, stormed the party headquarters demanding results that had been cancelled.

“We do not know the results. The returning officer vanished and failed to announce them publicly,” Mr Ndirangu said.

Led by Lee Muchiri, 11 aspirants said they were willing to front a candidate among them.

“We are ready for consensus. We have all agreed among ourselves to back one person, but not Waihenya,” Mr Muchiri said, flanked by others he said had run with him.

For Woman Representative ticket won by Rachel Shebesh, rival Wangui Ng’ang’a claimed there was rigging.

She came fourth in the race, but argued she was rigged out.

“She won by stuffing ballot boxes. How come she was leading in every part of Nairobi? That is not possible. I emerged fourth but I should have won this election,” she claimed.

“I tell you this for free, if that ticket is given to Shebesh, Nasa will win in Nairobi.”

NULLIFY RESULTS
There were similar complaints in Dagoretti North where Beatrice Elachi won the ticket.

But Mr Jackson Mesoh, the opponent, argued that she had been helped.

“The results are a fallacy. It is a sham. The type of rigging we saw was beyond belief,” he told reporters.

“We are asking the party to nullify the results.”

In Dagoretti South, Gaciku Muhu contested the victory by John “KJ” Kiarie. She filed an appeal seeking to overturn the results.

Many other complaints involved aspirants in Kiambu, Nyeri, Narok, Nakuru as well as Uasin Gishu and other parts of the Rift Valley.

Yesterday, the aspirants with their supporters laid siege at the Jubilee headquarters protesting what they called “theft of our votes”.

They shouted, insulted the officials and brandished placards at officials as anti-riot police kept watch from a nearby truck.

SPONSORING IRREGULARITIES
The police, sensing possible trouble, had been sent there, about two dozens of them, with clubs, teargas canisters and other combat gear.

On Friday, no one smelt teargas and no one was clobbered.

“They have not thrown a single stone,” Mr Tuju said.

“Demonstrations are part of our democracy. We have to respect that some of them are very angry.”

The supporters here accused Mr Tuju and his team of having a hand in the irregularities, something the Jubilee official denied vehemently.

“Those who lost must find someone to blame. My conscience is clear that I did not, and the leadership of the party did not, favour anybody.”

“If we favoured anyone, then some of these big people in our party who lost should have won easily.”

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