Murathe, Kioni reinstated in Jubilee Party leadership
Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni, national vice-chairman David Murathe and national treasurer Kagwe Gichohi are back to the party's leadership after the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) restored them.
This latest move has settled the leadership dispute that has rocked the former ruling party pitting the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member Kanini Kega faction and the Kioni faction.
The Kanini faction is leaning towards Kenya Kwanza leadership led by President William Ruto while Kioni's faction is allied to former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A ruling delivered on Monday by the PPDT has dealt a major blow to the decision to recognize the Kanini faction by suspending the Parties NEC's resolution of May 10, 2023, during which Kioni, Murathe and Gichohi were kicked out as members of Jubilee.
"Pending the hearing and determination of the application inter partes, interim conservatory orders are hereby issued staying the decision delivered by the Jubilee Party National Disciplinary Committee on May 10, 2023, to expel Murathe, Kioni and Gichohi from membership of the party," the tribunal led by the chairperson Desma Nungo ruled.
The tribunal further barred Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu from the Attorney General's chambers from acting on the decision of Jubilee NEC to expel the three top officials from its list of members.
"Pending the hearing and determination of the application inter parties, interim conservatory orders are hereby issued prohibiting the Registrar of political parties from acting on any communication from the Jubilee Party and its NEC purporting to expel Murathe, Kioni and Gichohi from the membership of the party," Nungo ruled.
The Tribunal's order was issued on May 22, 2023, while the Registrar acted on the NEC's resolution and ratified the expulsion on May 19, two days earlier.
According, to the Tribunal, Kioni, Murathe and Gichohi will remain in office until May 31 when their complaint will be heard.
The decision of PPDT comes after the Kioni faction petitioned afresh the tribunal challenging their removal from the party following their ouster by the rival group led by Kanini.
Kioni faction is seeking to be officially restored into the party leadership.
They argue that the decision for their ouster by the Jubilee disciplinary committee made on May 10, 2023, was flawed and illegal.
Jubilee disciplinary committee
The disciplinary committee resolved to kick out the three over alleged misconduct and non-adherence to the party's rules and constitution.
The action by the disciplinary committee on May 10 followed a ruling by the tribunal that the party had not exhausted all internal dispute resolution mechanisms when it arrived at the decision of kicking out the Kioni faction from the party leadership.
The tribunal referred the matter back to the party after saying that it was not convinced that the Jubilee NEC meeting held on February 10, 2023, in a hotel in Naivasha was properly convened.
During the Naivasha controversial NEC’s resolutions, Kioni was replaced by Kanini Kega who was appointed as the acting secretary-general while Eldas MP Adan Keynan was appointed national vice-chairperson to replace Murathe. Gichohi was replaced by Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai.
The registrar’s office was immediately notified about the leadership changes on the same day.
In the current matter, the tribunal has certified the case by the Kioni faction as urgent and ordered them to serve the Jubilee Party and NEC with their court pleadings and the order.
Further Nungo granted the party five days to respondents and the interest parties(Kanini and others) to file their responses to the allegations.
The matter will be mentioned on May 31, 2023, for further directions.