Murang’a became the first region in Mt Kenya to pick officials to lead Jubilee party in an event that was marked with tension but free of drama.
Former MP Dave Koech led the event at the Murang’a Technical college that brought together political friends and foes.
“All eyes are on you so prove your detractors wrong,” said Mr Raphael Tuju who heads the Jubilee Secretariat.
To avert any chaos, party officials kicked out supporters of all elected leaders and aspirants. They only left the aspirants and elected leaders.
They picked 19 leaders to head the party’s campaigns in the county. The 19, which were picked from each ward, will then pick a chairman to coordinate operations of the county.
“The 19 should forward the names of three people qualified to head the party at the county level. Jubilee headquarters will then pick one,” said Mr Koech.
To pick the 19, elected leaders picked one set of nominees and aspirants then picked the other. The extra delegate was picked to represent the disabled.
There was a rare show of unity amongst political leaders in Murang’a county after they came together to elect interim Jubilee Party officials.
The nominations were expected to be violent as both governor Mwangi wa Iria and his rival Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau sought to have their supporters in the team. All elected leaders attended the meeting. Attention was also on and Senator Kembi Giotura and Kiharu MP Irungu Kang’ata who are battling for the senate seat.
“We have shown the world that we can conduct elections peacefully and we are a united county,” said Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau. He however called for nominations to be conducted by the IEBC.
The governor on the other accused Mr Kamau of using the police to intimidate his supporters after an MCA aspirant was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by police officers at Githumu police station.
The two however told the aspirants who attended the event that there was no bad blood between them and encouraged them to conduct peaceful campaigns.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria on his part said the minor misunderstandings between them should not be interpreted to mean that they are enemies.
In Embu there was a scuffles at Kangaru School during Jubilee grassroots elections after various elected leaders and aspirants differed on the mode of election.
Trouble started after Senator Lenny Kivuti pointed out that some of the aspirants for various seats and who had paid their subscription fees and registered with the IEBC had been locked out of the venue.
He suggested that the county Governor Martin Wambora and the six MPs from the county pick one of the 19 officials each while elected MCAs appoint six and the various aspirants elect the remaining six officials respectively. Elections were also held in Nakuru, Machakos and Kajiado.
PAID UP ASPIRANTS
“There are a lot of people who are paid-up aspirants who were locked outside the hall. It is only fair if they were allowed to come in,” proposed Mr Kivuti.
It is understood that most of the aspirants supported him but his opponents disputed whether they had intention of contesting various elective posts during 2017 polls.
There was a heated exchange and a near fist fight between supporters of Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire, Mr Kivuti, Mr Wambora, and Mr Kithinji Kiragu.
Also present was Woman Rep Rose Mitaru, Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi, Manyatta MP John Muchiri and his Mbeere North counterpart Muriuki Njagagua.
Polls coordinator Abraham Limo had proposed that the four constituencies share the slots, with Manyatta, Runyenjes and Mbeere South getting five each, while Mbeere North would get the remaining four.
When Mr Kivuti stood to second the proposal, he said they had earlier agreed that seven of the 19 posts be shared among the Governor, the six MPs, while the elected MCAs would get six, while the remainder would go to the aspirants.
His suggestion was met by a round of booing, while various delegates who are locked inside a hall brawled but were easily stopped by the police.