Meeting snub: Jubilee Nominated Senators now risk expulsion
Five Jubilee Nominated Senators risk expulsion from the party for failing to attend the coalition’s Parliamentary Group meeting held at State House on Monday.
The meeting, convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the party leader, ratified the removal of Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika, as Leader of Majority and Majority Whip, respectively.
The legislators, all allies of Deputy President William Ruto, boycotted the meeting.
The move to take disciplinary action against the five could mark the beginning of the second phase of a purge of the DP’s supporters in Parliament, who are seen as being defiant of the President’s cause.
Yesterday, the party wrote to the five, demanding an explanation for their absence at the crucial party meeting.
They are also expected to defend themselves against accusations of defying and disrespecting the party and its leadership.
The five are Senators Millicent Omanga, Mary Seneta Yiane, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo and Alice Milgo.
Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju yesterday told People Daily that the five will appear before the party disciplinary committee for grilling and possible punishment, including expulsion.
“They have to explain why they did not attend the PG. The object of the summons is to subject them to a disciplinary process that shall result in expulsion.
Those with genuine reasons will be spared based on the outcome of the disciplinary process,” said Tuju.
He added: “They may also be fined or cleared. It is not just the PG, the senators are also accused of failing to follow other party instructions in the past on various documented matters.”
The other issues, People Daily established, include their opposition to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga that resulted in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the Nairobi City County take over by the National Government and repossession of Ruto’s 1,600 acres of land in Ruai.
They are also accused of contradicting the party position on the impeachment of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu and eviction of squatters in Kariobangi, Nairobi.
However, Senator Christine Zawadi, who also skipped the State House meeting, has been spared the party wrath after she satisfactorily explained her absence.
In a letter addressed to new Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata, Zawadi said the reason for her non-attendance was the transport and logistical barriers that have been erected by the government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I confirm that I did not physically attend the Jubilee coalition Senate Parliamentary Group meeting held on May 11 at State House, Nairobi,” the Senator wrote.
“However, I do hereby endorse the resolutions of the said PG meeting. For avoidance of doubt, I affirm my support for the new Jubilee Party leadership in the Senate,” she added.
According to two letters seen by the People Daily, the lawmakers are required to show cause why party disciplinary action should not be taken against them.
Jubilee has accused the senators of absenting themselves from the party Parliamentary Group meeting “without any reasonable excuses”.
The letters say that the leaders’ actions and past utterances amounted to gross misconduct and disrespect of the party and its leadership.
“By the said misconduct, you have undermined the party in its leadership role,” the letter by the party national chairperson Nelson Dzurya reads.
“Take notice that unless the party, through the office of the secretary general, receives your response within the stipulated time, you shall be deemed to have duly acknowledged the matters highlighted above and shall be liable to any of the penalties set out in article 13.4 (1) of the party constitution,” the letter that is copied to Tuju further states.
The politicians have been directed to channel their written responses through the office of the Majority Whip, Kang’ata.
“I have instructions from Jubilee Party to forward to you the annexed self-explanatory notices to show cause. Your response to the party should be channeled through this office,” Senator Kang’ata said in his forwarding letter to the five.
Contacted yesterday, Senator Omanga termed the letter “fake”, and claimed that she was never invited to the State House meeting.
On her part, Seneta declined to comment terming the matter “too hot” to deserve her comment.
The Political Parties Act provides that a member may only be expelled from the party if they have infringed the party constitution.
According to Section 14(7) of the Act, the affected member must be given a fair hearing in accordance with the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the party constitution.
Article 16 of the Jubilee Party constitution says all members shall conduct themselves with the highest standard of personal integrity and honour and shall not involve themselves in dishonorable conduct.
According to party vice chairman David Murathe, Ruto’s allies have been undermining the President, who is the party leader.
“The rebels have acted in breach of the party’s supreme document. Undermining the President, who is the Jubilee Party leader, constitutes an offence against the code of conduct,” he said in an interview.