Fresh twist in Jubilee tiff after Kositany ‘overrules’ his boss

Thursday, April 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju. Photo/PD/FILE

Antony Mwangi and Githinji Mwangi

The leadership wrangles within the ruling Jubilee Party has taken  a new turn after deputy secretary Caleb Kositany purportedly overturned a decision to dismiss Kirinyaga County Assembly majority leader by his boss Raphael Tuju.

A fortnight ago, Tuju removed Kamau Murango majority leader’s position after the latter spearheaded an impeachment motion against Governor Anne Waiguru.

“You have been advised to ignore the communication from the party SG as it is illegal,” Kositany said in a letter to the Assembly.

But Tuju yesterday laughed off the Kositany letter saying the Soi MP had no powers or capacity to overturn his decision.  

According to the Jubilee secretary general, the decision to remove Murango was a party position and thereffore final.

“Kositany should read the party constitution and tell Kenyans which section allows him to overturn communication by the secretary general. In any case, the SG does not convey personal positions. The SG communicates the party decision,” Tuju told People Daily.

 But Kositany, a key ally of Deputy President William Ruto, maintained that the decision to remove Murango had not been communicated to the Speaker.

“And therefore, the impugned decision of Tuju to dismiss him cannot stand any legal or procedural test.”

“It stands not on the Constitution of the Party, the Standing Orders of the Assembly or any other lawful pedestal. It has no legal effect. It is not recognised in law. It is null and void ab initio,” Kositany wrote.

The MP’s move is yet another supremacy fight pitting Ruto and sections of party officials allied to his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kositany claimed that the removal of Murango was null and void and advised Speaker Anthony Gathumbi and Murango to ignore it.

In a letter dated 27/04/2020 and copied to the Speaker, majority leader and majority whip, Kositany poured cold water on Tuju’s move.

He maintained that Murango was recognised in law by the party and its leadership.

“The Assembly is advised that any future communication coming from Tuju or any other party official must be accompanied by details of the relevant party organ that sanctioned such decisions,” wrote Kositany.

The legislator argued that such letters must have information that includes the date when the decision was made, the attendees and must indicate the relevant constitutional provision authorising the same.

Contacted for comment, Murango confirmed he had received Kositany’s letter.

 “The move by Kositany has vindicated us. We have all along been saying that the move to remove me from office was illegal,” Murango said.

Speaker Gathumbi also confirmed that he had received the letter from the MP.

In the letter, Kositany noted that Standing Orders are explicit on the election and removal of persons in such office and only MCAs have the power to remove or elect their leaders.

“Each County Assembly’s Standing Orders apply to the election and removal of persons to such office.

In this case, The Kirinyaga County Assembly Standing Orders provides under Part IV for the position of the Majority Leader,” Kositany says in the letter.

Tuju  threatened to take disciplinary action against any Jubilee MCA who supports the impeachment motion.

He said that Murango has not been standing with party position after he threw his weight behind the impeachment motion against Waiguru.

Over 27 MCAs have appended their signatures in the motion sponsored by Mutira Ward MCA David Kinyua Wangui. 

Only six MCA support the county government in the assembly.

The governor is accused of using her office to improperly confer a benefit to herself when she was irregularly paid for travel allowances by way of imprests amounting to Sh10.6 million, yet she did not travel. The amount was paid to her personal account.

In her response, Waiguru said a casual check of the county government would indicate that where any such imprests exist, they were surrendered in the normal manner required by public service regulations.

Another charge was on the Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority (Kida)  established by the county assembly. 

The County Public Service Board had directed Kida board members not to be paid until their salaries were approved by SRC.

Waiguru has since laughed off the attempts to impeach her, saying they were not grounded on law and would not affect her record of public service.

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