Nakuru Jubilee governorship candidate Lee Kinyanjui addresses nominees for various positions on June 23. They accused a section of local party officials of nominating relatives. [Suleiman Mbatiah, Standard]
Anger over alleged awarding of nomination slots to cronies of Jubilee’s senior politicians has hit several counties as details of lists submitted to the electoral agency emerge.
Yesterday, a section of members upped their claims that those picked for nominations as MCAs did not merit because they were picked courtesy of their links to party officials.
There has been an outcry in President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto’s backyards of Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Nyeri and Baringo counties, with those who lost out in nominations accusing party officials of short-changing genuine members.
Youth groups, nomination losers and minority communities in Nakuru have cried foul over the list, the second to emerge in two weeks.
This came even Jubilee’s Nakuru chairman David Manyara said none of the lists submitted to the party by two factions had been approved.
Two weeks ago, a leaked list with names of relatives and cronies of Jubilee candidates for governorship, senator, woman representative and MPs, kicked up a storm.
Yesterday, a group of youths from the county, led by Joakim Njue, said the second list allegedly prepared by Jubilee governor candidate Lee Kinyanjui and some parliamentary candidates was biased.
A caucus of Jubilee primaries losers led by Edwin Lesidai also faulted the list, saying distribution of slots did not reflect the real picture of the cosmopolitan county.
“That list has names of some people who earlier served as nominated MCAs in the current assembly. We will not accept it,” he said.
Njue alleged one of the nominees was a Jubilee official based in Nairobi and was not a voter in Nakuru.
He claimed names submitted included girlfriends and relatives of some of the MPs and county leaders.
The two lists contain names of current nominated MCAs and at least a man said to be a chief officer in Governor Kinuthia Mbugua’s administration.
Samuel Mwaura, the Chief Officer of Health, however distanced himself from the name similar to his that appeared in the list. He said he had never applied to be nominated.
“Even the ID card number used is different from mine. Only the names are similar,” he said.
In Bomet, two youth groups clashed over a similar issue, with those offended by the list threatening to campaign against Jubilee.
“The list was drawn by individuals who do not mean good for Jubilee. Party officials picked their daughters and sons and locked out deserving members?” said Patrick Rotich.
Joyce Ngetich said the list did not represent regional balance and must be withdrawn.
“New names must be presented if Jubilee wants to remain strong. Those who have been picked have done nothing for Jubilee,” Ngetich said.
But a second group defended the list, saying it was the best the party could have.
Led by Victor Rop and Enock Kemei, the group asked those opposing the list to be patient with the party.
Rop said over 250 youths had applied, against 10 nomination slots.
Party officials led by Bernard Mutai and Shadrack Rotich remained kept silent. The group opposed to the list has threatened to go to court.
In Uasin Gishu County, more than five aspirants who contested various seats got a new lease of life after they were short-listed for nominations to the county assembly.
They are in a list of 31 applicants whose names Jubilee has forwarded to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for consideration.
Among nominees for positions of MCA is James Kibor, who unsuccessfully sought the Jubilee ticket for the Moiben parliamentary seat.
Barno Zakaria, who is also seeking to be nominated to the county assembly after losing his bid for the Soy parliamentary seat, said he was awaiting the final list from IEBC.
Their short-listing has raised questions as disgruntled aspirants vowed to halt the process through the courts.
Over 100 people living with disability in Uasin Gishu have opposed the move to send names to the electoral agency, saying the criterion used was biased.
Their representative from North Rift, Titus Yego, who had applied for nomination, said there was a plot to lock him out after his details were put in the gender category.
“There are some individuals who want to deny me a chance to represent our special group. When the list came out from the party, I had been placed on the gender team where there are many applicants, thus diminishing my chances of being nominated,” he said.
Another group of party losers, led by a Philip Chebunet, alleged cronies of senior party officials had been prioritised over loyal members who lost in the nominations.
Chebunet, a former aspirant for Moiben constituency, claimed they were sidelined. “It is saddening that no consultations were made. All we saw in the list is a group of friends, girlfriends, personal assistants of officials of Jubilee. This is unconstitutional,” he said.
The story was the same in Nyeri, where a group of 30 women want Jubilee to nullify the list citing anomalies.
Former Rware ward aspirant Grace Michuki said four people were registered to vote in other counties and not in Nyeri. “We have noted with concern there are people on the list who are voters in Nairobi, Kiambu, Laikipia and Nyandarua.”
The women said two people on the list were not party members and wondered how Jubilee nominated them.
The women alleged there was favouritism in compiling the list. “The list has civil servants such as head teachers of local schools and nurses,” they said in a petition.
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Former Nyeri town councillor Margaret Nyathogora asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.
Nyeri governorship aspirant Wahome Gakuru said he was confident Jubilee would address the concerns.
“I am confident the party will deal with this matter. Actually, I am at the headquarters to seek clarification on the issue,” Gakuru said.
He noted that the party would resolve the disputes internally through a formal process as set out in the party constitution.
“Party officials will look at the matter in a comprehensive and fair manner for the sake of the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.
Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju however dismissed the claims as baseless, stating that there was fairness in picking names for the slots.
Tuju said the party wrote to all the candidates asking them to consult before submitting names for consideration.
He said the party received 6,020 applications for a maximum of 600 available positions for the ruling party.
[Reports by Moses Nyamori, Steve Mkawale, Gilbert Kimutai, Lydia Nyawira and Silah Koskei]