Mutua, Kingi cut ties with Azimio
The Azimio la Umoja coalition was yesterday in turmoil after two affiliate parties decamped to join the Kenya Kwanza Coalition led by Deputy President William Ruto.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua formally ditched the Raila Odinga team to join Kenya Kwanza.
A source privy to the goings-on within the Kenya Kwanza team confided that Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi who is the party leader of the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) has also signed an agreement to join Kenya Kwanza and is set to join the outfit today.
Creating a storm
The move by Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) leader and other Azimio coalition partners who intend to jump ship may however face legal hurdles since the document is clear on when an affiliate party can exit.
Yesterday, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu said she was not aware of the move since her office had not been notified: “My office is not aware of such a move, once we are informed we will act.”
Azimio coalition agreement states that an affiliate must be a member for at least one year before leaving.
But Azimio la Umoja executive director Raphael Tuju poured cold water on the exit of Mutua from the coalition, citing that they cannot force someone to be in a marriage they are not willing to be part of.
Tuju said that it was ridiculous, that some of the political leaders who signed the coalition government did not know what they signed for, adding that the document is deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties and a public document.
“For one to say that they cannot access the document is simply creating a storm in a tea-cup because they want to use it for benchmarking for their negotiations elsewhere. We are not going to engage ourselves in that drama. I cannot sign a document I have not looked at. So if somebody says they signed a document they had not looked at, then who is to blame?” he posed.
The two parties have meanwhile lodged applications at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal sitting in Nairobi seeking to be de-registered under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party.
Under Certificates of Urgency, the MCC and PAA leaders cited withholding of the agreement signed last month, as the main reason for their exit from Azimio.
The parties informed the Tribunal that the signing was obtained through fraud, misrepresentation and concealment of material facts and that their members had not resolved to join Azimio. As such, the two parties argued that the agreement is null, void and illegal.
They want the tribunal to stop the implementation of a Gazette Notice dated April 14, (Coalition Party Agreement) in so far as it provides that they are members of the Azimio outfit.
Our source says Mutua and Kingi held a lengthy meeting with the Kenya Kwanza principals, Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya, a meeting which lasted over six hours.
And in the wee hours of yesterday morning, Wetang’ula was quick to welcome Mutua and Kingi to the Kenya Kwanza team through his tweeter handle.
“The meeting took hours, they left the DP’s Karen home a few minutes past midnight,” revealed the source.
On the contentious exit clause in the Azimio coalition agreement, Mutua said the Constitution guarantees freedom of association.
“You cannot force people to be in an association they are not respected in. The court process is ongoing and nothing will stop us from moving away,” Mutua said.
Flanked by MCC top officials, Mutua said the decision to leave Azimio was informed by the numerous cases of being side-lined.
In particular, Mutua said the idea to have zoning in Azimio was a decision the outfit made even without consultations.
“Despite us being members of Azimio most of the things we hear from the media. This was supposed to be Azimio la Umoja but to our surprise, it has been turned into a coalition of few rich individuals. “They played us and sneaked a document on zoning. They have been doing nothing but managing us,” he said.
Mutua hinted that even more parties were headed to Kenya Kwanza saying that Azimio had failed to make public the coalition agreement signed with affiliate parties.
He said his party believes Ruto is the best to liberate Kenyans from the yoke of poverty.
“The Deputy President is a good man and he will change this country. Last night we signed an agreement with Kenya Kwanza and here is a copy. Unlike Azimio, here is a document we signed and we know its content,” he said.
— Reporting by Anthony Mwangi, Alvin Mwangi and Nancy Gitonga