Jubilee chairman Raphael Tuju address a press conference 29/3/2017 PHOTO BY GEORGE NJUNGE
Crafty Jubilee Party aspirants who invested millions in the party’s smart cards to get a head start in the primaries are counting their losses.
The aspirants have been left with unsubscribed cards for which they paid millions of shillings while others are waiting for the delivery of orders made to the party headquarters.
But it is emerging that the party is no longer keen to use the electronic cards that were used in membership recruitment following complaints and concerns that many are still not activated. Party vice chairman David Murathe said in total, the party sold 7.5 million smart cards, meaning aspirants forked out at least Sh150 million.
Initially, it had been announced that only card-wielding members would participate in the nominations, which prompted aspirants to purchase the cards in bulk to dish out to supporters.
Some politicians are reported to have purchased over 100,000 cards valued at over Sh2 million. However, the party has signaled that the cards might not be used after all.
In Nyeri County, Kieni MP Kanini Kega was reported to be among those who had invested a premium in the smart card project. The first-term MP admitted that he had purchased 40,000 cards, which means he spent at least Sh800,000. Mr Kega however said he would stick with Jubilee even if the cards were not used in the primaries.
North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood said he bought the first batch of 26,500 cards, each going for Sh20, which works out to Sh530,000.
Also said to have ordered a substantial number of cards in Meru County was John Mutunga, a contestant in Tigania West. We could not establish the number of cards he bought.
In Uasin Gishu, Jubilee Party Co-ordinator Sammy Rutto said although the cards would not be used in their stronghold areas during the nominations, they helped to popularise the party. In Murang’a, Governor Mwangi wa Iria and Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau are reported to have bought tens of thousands of smart cards.
Some were left gathering dusts in their offices.
Yesterday, JP Secretary General Raphael Tuju said although discussions on whether the cards will be used were still ongoing and a final decision would be announced by the National Elections Board.