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Blow as Jubilee rebel Mwaura loses seat

By Rawlings Otieno
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
Isaac Mwaura
Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura. Photo/File

Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura has lost his seat in a precedent-setting move, which will send shivers down the spine of perceived party rebels.

Mwaura’s fate was sealed when Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, in a special gazette issue dated May 10, 2021, declared a vacancy in the House. He followed it up with a communication in the House that Mwaura was no longer a senator.

“It is notified for the general information of the public that pursuant to Article 103 (1) (i) of the Constitution and Section 37 of the Elections Act the seat of the member of Senate elected under Article 98 (1) (d) of the Constitution and held by Isaac Mwaura became vacant with effect from May 7, 2021,” read the Gazette Notice.

Apparently unaware of the notice announcing his de-nomination, Mwaura sat pensively in the Senate during the morning sitting and even voted for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, which he had previously opposed, perhaps signalling a change of heart.

Come the afternoon sitting and Lusaka moved to explain Mwaura’s predicament to the House, revealing he had first learnt of the Gazette Notice during the lunch break.

“It is important to note that the publication of this gazette came to my notice for the first time during the lunch break this afternoon.

This explains why in the morning sitting, no issue was raised about the participation of Senator Mwaura in the proceedings, including voting at Second Reading of the Constitution of Kenya (amendment) Bill, 2020,” Lusaka stated.  

The Gazette Notice follows a ruling by the High Court, which upheld Mwaura’s expulsion from the Jubilee Party after the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal agreed with the party over his expulsion.

Mwaura becomes the first casualty of a law that allows political parties to expel members who show allegiance to a different party.

Truant members

And now, Mwaura stands to lose approximately Sh1 million in monthly salary and allowances, Sh5 million car grant, two body guards, personal assistant and a luxurious office located at the heart of the Nairobi’s Central Business District.

Since the enactment of the Political Parties Act 2011, parties have tried in vain to axe truant members who propagate ideologies of rival political parties.

Sources close to Jubilee Party hinted that a replacement had already been settled on, in the name of Joyce Amasong’. 

But even before the news of the Gazette Notice settled, Mwaura’s colleague Millicent Omanga, who got a short reprieve after the High Court quashed her expulsion, wished him well.

Mwaura last month obtained an order from the High Court stopping his expulsion after Political Parties Tribunal ruled against him.

In his application, the outspoken senator claimed the decision to expel him contravened the Jubilee Party Constitution since the disciplinary process against him was initiated without any written and signed complaint.

“My expulsion was malicious with no justifiable reason. The committee relied on unauthenticated information to arrive at the preconceived outcome without giving me sufficient time to defend myself,” said Mwaura.

He was expelled for supporting the ideology of another party while being disloyal to the party that nominated him to Parliament. 

The party, in making the decision, said it had sufficient evidence showing he had supported the ideology of the United Democratic Alliance associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

Mwaura was among six nominated senators allied to Ruto’s Tanga Tanga political group who were shown the door by the ruling party. Others are Omanga, Mary Seneta, Naomi Waqo, Victor Prengei and Dekow Iman Falhada.

Yesterday, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu termed Mwaura’s de-nomination as “good riddance”.

Good riddance

He said Mwaura had shown disrespect for ODM leader Raila Odinga whose party first nominated him to Parliament and President Uhuru Kenyatta who handed him his second stint in the House.

“Essentially, for 15 years, he has been working courtesy of Raila and Uhuru. Yet rather than be the poster-boy for the Handshake and BBI that both are now pushing for, he’s been the first person to throw personal shade at both; viciously and consistently. This game has rules,” said Wambugu.

“My words were blown out of context by my detractors and people who are keen to advance their political propaganda and machinations,” Mwaura defended himself at a previous function. 

He is said to have accused the so-called dynasties of overstaying in power during the thanksgiving ceremony of Msambweni MP Feisal Bader.

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