Mike Sonko, a gubernatorial aspirant for Nairobi in the Jubilee Party, is among four who risk being locked out of this year’s General Election for indiscipline. The others are two sitting governors and an MP.
The party said it had summoned Mr Sonko, who is the Nairobi Senator, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, his Kirinyaga counterpart Joseph Ndathi and Nakuru East MP David Gikaria for violence during the just-concluded bids to select County Elections Boards (CEB).
The four, upon facing the party disciplinary committee, risk being barred from contesting on a Jubilee Party ticket or a suspension from the party.
“Incidences of violence were reported in a number of counties but we witnessed aggravated assault against the party officials and damage to property in Murang’a, Nairobi and Nakuru Counties,” said Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju at the party headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi.
He went on: “The disciplinary committee has therefore issued summons to the members who have been named in the complaints. These summons shall be served upon these members setting out the date, venue and time when they should defend themselves.”
Mr Sonko clashed with supporters of Starehe MP Maina Kamanda who backs 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth for the city job that the senator is seeking, while
Mr Gikaria was pictured appearing to rough up party officials after the disputed exercise in Nakuru.
Supporters of Governor Ndathi, who is battling for the ticket against former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, hurled insults at the party supporters and officials, while those of Mr Iria are accused of clashing with those of his competitor, Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.
Mr Lumatete Muchai, the chairman of the party disciplinary committee, said that the team will ensure fairness in the hearings defending the decision to summon the four.
“Right now, we cannot say why we did it (singled the four out). But we have to listen to the different cases and hear them. We have complaints against them and we will make a judgment after listening to them,” said Mr Muchai.
Last week, Mr Tuju had condemned the violence saying they were unnecessary.
To mitigate the possibility of bias, Mr Tuju said, the boards will be reshuffled during the nominations.
“No board chosen by the various aspirants will man the elections in their own county. And part of this animosity is because aspirants do not understand what will happen. And we will not tell them in advance which county the various boards will be,” he said.
On Tuesday, Mr Iria said he does not see the rationale that the party’s disciplinary committee can use to summon him regarding chaos that erupted on Saturday during the selection of the Kirinyaga County election board.
Insisting that he had not been called to appear before the Jubilee team, Mr Iria said it would be absurd for him to be subjected to a disciplinary process whereas he had no direct role to play in the flare-up that saw police lob teargas to disperse warring groups at Murang’a Teachers Training College.
“Was I a police officer? Was I the convener of the day? Was I the security system? Which role had I been given during the day so that you can summon me and ask me whether I duly executed the role which you gave?” asked the county boss in an interview with the Daily Nation in Nairobi.
“Unless you are summoning all aspirants. But I will take this as social media gossip,” he said.
Additional reporting by Elvis Ondieki.