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Jubilee Party board suspends all returning officers over massive bribery

Kisii County Jubilee woman representative aspirant Dorice Donya Toto. Many incumbent leaders are facing young fresh entrants who are not ready to step down from the race.[Photo:Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Jubilee Party’s National Elections Board has suspended all returning officers who presided over Friday’s botched primaries.

This followed claims of massive irregularities in the exercise that was cancelled.

In a letter dated April 22, 2017, Jubilee Party headquarters said the officers had been suspended with immediate effect.

The letter stated the County Elections Board had tried in vain to meet the returning officers.

The board accused the officials of, among other things, insubordination.

“They have been training clerks without consulting the county elections board. They have failed to attend meetings,” read part of the letter.

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As source within the party leadership hierarchy said some of the returning officers might have been compromised by some aspirants, raising doubts on their impartiality.

Failed consensus

But even as the poll officers remained suspended, a proposal to have the party scrap primaries and instead resort to consensus in Kisii and Nyamira counties hit a snag.

Last-minute efforts to have a number of aspirants agree on a proposed political power-sharing formula have not worked so far.

Many aspirants who had been requested to join Jubilee-affiliated parties ignored the proposal, insisting sitting MPs must agree to participate in free and fair nominations.

Sources within the party told The Standard those aspirants were promised State appointments and other nominations if they agreed to pull out.

A number of Jubilee MPs are facing stiff competition from new entrants who have vowed not back down in their quest to clinch the party ticket.

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In Kisii, Kitutu Chache MP Jimmy Angwenyi will be facing Ndemo Bwongera, Ibrahim Atatu and Joseph Bogongo.

The newcomers are upbeat in their pursuit for Jubilee Party ticket.

“We want a free and fair nomination exercise,” said Dr Bwongera.

In South Mugirango, Rashid Miyonga and Vincent Marube will battle it out for the JP ticket while Bomachoge Chache MP Simon Ogari, who abandoned ODM, is in the contest against Kennedy Nyamweya.

Alfred Nyangweso is said to have declined to step down for Senator Chris Obure, in the race for the governor’s party ticket.

Bomachoge Borabu’s Joel Onyancha will be competing against a former Government Accountant Adams Nyatangi.

In Bonchari, Bogiakumu area Chief Mrs Mary Ratemo will be facing off with incumbent MP Zebedeo Opore.

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In Nyamira, attempts to build consensus between Jubilee aspirants suffered a blow after Lawyer Charles Ongoto, Evans Menge and Kennedy Achoki said they will not participate in the talks.

The woman representative’s seat is expected to generate fireworks with a new entrant, former Royal Media Services Journalist Dorice Donya, facing Judith Miruka, Bridget Ombati and incumbent Sally Otara, who defected from ODM.

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