Blow for Ruto as Uhuru Wins Round One Jubilee Battle
The Political Parties Tribunal has suspended the decision of the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) to ratify the suspension of embattled former Ndaragwa Member of Parliament Jeremiah Kioni as Jubilee Party’s Secretary General.
According to a ruling by the tribunal made on Wednesday, February 16, the move to restructure Jubilee’s leadership was put on hold until a case that was filed before it is concluded.
The ruling will also affect other leadership changes ratified by the National Executive Council meeting’s resolutions on February 10.
“Pending inter partes hearing and determination of the application, interim conservatory orders are hereby issued staying the Respondent’s decision communicated vide the letter dated February 13, 2023, to the effect that the meeting was properly convened per the party constitution and further staying any consequential action by the Respondent towards effecting, adopting or ratifying the resolutions of the subject meeting,” the orders read in part.
EALA MP Kanini Kega (left) and nominate MP Sabina Chege (right) during a past event at Jubilee Headquarters.
Speaking shortly after the ruling, Kioni welcomed the ruling and condemned the attempt to restructure the party’s leadership.
“We want to thank those within the judiciary who still believe that there is a country and institutions must be seen to be free and fair,” Kioni noted.
The ruling came a day after the Registrar of Political Parties, Anne Nderitu, ruled that the meeting where members resolved to topple Kioni and his colleagues was legal. Nderitu also threw out a petition by Kioni seeking to invalidate the resolutions.
We want to thank those within the judiciary who still believe that there is a country and institutions must be seen to be free and fair
In her statement, she noted that the meeting was quorate and followed the due procedure in recommending the ouster of Kioni and vice chairperson, David Murathe.
Nderitu further directed the aggrieved members to exhaust Jubilee Party’s internal conflict resolution mechanisms before reporting to the ORPP.
On Wednesday, February 15, the pro-President William Ruto faction led by East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Kanini Kega stormed the party’s headquarters in Kileleshwa for a press briefing.
Most of the leaders who shifted allegiance to the government arrived in the protection of a contingent of police to stamp authority as the rightful occupiers of the offices.
“From today we will be operating from here because the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) acknowledged that the restructuring of the party was constitutional,” Kega stated.
However, the faction of leaders loyal to the Azimio la Umoja Coalition vowed to defend its place in the party and take an active role in opposition politics.
“If they are men enough, let them take over the party. We will continue with our agenda. This Friday we will be in Kisii and Kisumu on Saturday,” David Murathe- the embattled vice chairperson, told The Standard.
Divisions rocked the former ruling party after a section of leaders elected on its ticket held a meeting with President Ruto and subsequently agreed to work with the government of the day. The leaders further vowed to boycott the protest rallies organized by Azimio la Umoja Leader Raila Odinga.
President William Ruto, his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua and a section of Jubilee MPs at State House on Wednesday, February 8, 2023