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Ugly fights dominate selection of Jubilee board

Elections in Nakuru, Nyandarua, and Uasin Gishu were chaotic with peaceful processes in Nandi and Tana River.

A decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party to have its aspirants select a county elections board has come back to haunt it, with ugly fights dominating the processes in various counties.

On Thursday, supporters of Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and Starehe MP Maina Kamanda clashed at the Bomas of Kenya, in a series of what has now become a part of the elections.

However, Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju on Thursday said that there was no cause for alarm in the chaos being witnessed.

“We had the option of just choosing our people to man the county elections board, but it is our wisdom that we should involve aspirants. If they choose them well, well and good,” said Mr Tuju on phone.

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.

DIFFERENT TEAMS

In Nairobi, Mr Kamanda’s team and that of Senator Sonko chose two different 17-member teams, one from each of the 17 constituencies in the city county.

“We did our part before Senator Sonko stormed in. But we had finished. Now, the 17 we chose before we were disrupted will sit and choose nine as required in our Constitution,” Mr Kamanda told the Nation.

Mr Michael Waweru, a member of the national elections board, said that a team of 9 will be chosen from the 34 that was presented to him.

“We will vet them to ensure that they are party members, have a certificate of good conduct and choose nine from the 34,” said Mr Waweru, a former head of the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Senator Sonko was accompanied by former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua, who accused the board of bias.

“Don’t mislead the press that you have the list. Names have been sneaked in and we’ll not allow that. Please don’t come and spoil jubilee. You better resign,” Mr Mbugua said at the Bomas of Kenya.

PETER KENNETH

Mr Sonko, 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru are all battling for the Jubilee Party ticket to oust Governor Evans Kidero in the August Election.

The other three have ganged up against Mr Kenneth, who is backed by Mr Kamanda, and all elected MPs from Nairobi County allied to Jubilee except Mr Waweru.

“I do not even know how Mr Sonko was cleared to run. He has admitted to being a goon and he cannot pass Chapter Six of the Constitution,” said Mr Kamanda.

However, Mr Sonko has insisted that he had been cleared to run as senator in 2013 and nothing should be different in the 2017 poll.

“I am not going to step down for Peter Kenneth. We will go to the people and let them decide,” said Mr Sonko in a TV interview.

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