Inside Politics

Aspirant narrates how party dashed his hopes

Thursday, April 28th, 2022 01:18 | By
Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker Wahome Ndegwa. He says the Moses Kuria-led CCK is now backing his rival for the county’s top seat. PHOTO/File

A governor candidate has accused Chama Cha Kazi (CCK), led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, of short-changing him after he paid Sh1 million fees.

Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker Wahome Ndegwa, who is eyeing the county’s governor seat, has filed a complaint with the Political Parties Tribunal saying the party denied him a ticket yet he had paid the relevant fees. He said he paid Sh50,000 registration fee, Sh500,000 as nomination charges for governor aspirants and an extra Sh500,000 to support CCK operations. 

He said the party later declared it would not field a candidate in the county but would back Moses Kiarie “Badilisha” of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

The Speaker says he has spent millions more marketing the party as part of efforts to boost his candidature. 

Bad taste and draconian

Wahome, who is chairman of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), has fingered out Kuria — who is seeking the Kiambu governor seats — for “unilaterally making a decision that is in bad taste and draconian.”

The move could “unlawfully strip off, disadvantage and extinguish” Wahome’s ambition for the seat held by Francis Kimemia.

Wahome says after paying the fees, he was “legitimately nominated” and issued with a certificate to fly the party’s flag in the governor race.

But he was taken aback by a social media post on April 20, 2022, declaring that CCK, which has been grappling with claims of fleecing aspirants, would not have a candidate and would instead support Badilisha.

“The complainant (Wahome) and his county-wide human resource infrastructure has invested immense resources in terms of tens of millions and other efforts in popularising the party within Nyandarua county and nationally ... the unlawful and unwarranted decision of the party or its leader (Kuria)  has caused the complainant (Wahome) much anguish and agony,” Wahome told the court.

He said Kuria “personally removed him from the official CCK WhatsApp page for all aspirants against his constitutional rights” after he (Wahome) raised the matter.

The party had fashioned itself as an alternative to UDA in Mt Kenya politics, and a fallback to Jubilee. But now leaders and aggrieved aspirants are accusing Kuria of shattering their ambitions by denying them certificates despite paying the fees.  

Some unhappy aspirants are returning  to the race as independent candidates after the party-hopping window closed. Mercy Mathai, who is seeking the Kiambu Town parliamentary seat, claimed she paid CCK the required Sh100,000 nomination fee and Sh20,000 registration dues, but is still waiting for the party’s primaries.

Mathai, a lawyer, said Kuria was running the party like a pyramid scheme.  She added that he later asked her to abandon her quest and settle for a county post should he (Kuria) win the Kiambu governor race.

She added that Kuria declined to refund the fees, saying the money would fund party activities.

“This (CCK) is nothing short of a pyramid scheme. It would have been something else if he had subjected  me to a nomination process where I would have squarely faced my opponent and faced defeat. At that point I would have gracefully bowed out but he told me, even before the nomination process begun to step down and this was after he had received by nomination fees and waited until I could no longer chose a party of my choice as the vehicle that i will use to vie for this particular seat,” Mathai said, adding the Kuria declined to refund her fees, telling her the money would fund party activities.

Peter Muchendu, who while quitting his position as the party’s deputy organizing secretary last week, lifted the lid on the mess in the outfit which is party of Kenya Kwanza alliance, saying he had left it because it’s leadership was no longer committed to its course of promoting good and youthful leadership and has turned into a den of soliciting money from innocent aspirants through nominations fees and exorbitant life membership fees. 

Muchendu accused its leadership of unilaterally running the party through decisions that have been punitive to aspirants, 300 of whom have had their political ambitions shattered after they were either denied tickets or asked to withdraw from the races.    

The party, without any approval or consultation from the party’s executive committee, Muchendu said, introduced a life membership fee of Sh200,000 for MCA aspirants and Sh500,000 for the other seats as a prerequisite for the aspirants to get their nomination certificates which is a complete opposite of what they had envisioned.

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