Jubilee expels six senators, Whip faces PG
The Jubilee Party has expelled six nominated senators on grounds of “disciplinary violations” in its latest purge against Deputy President William Ruto’s allies.
The six were accused of defying and disrespecting the party and its leadership.
The senators, who had been subjected to disciplinary hearings, were also charged with failing to attend a Jubilee Coalition Parliamentary Group meeting held at State House in May last year that orchestrated dramatic changes in the Senate leadership.
In a statement issued yesterday, Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju said the National Management Committee (NMC) had met and deliberated on a report filed by the party’s disciplinary committee.
Those expelled were: Isaac Mwaura, Mary Seneta, Naomi Waqo, Millicent Omanga, Victor Prengei and Iman Dekow.
“The NMC, in exercising its mandate provided or under article 7 (2a) of the party’s constitution and relying on other enabling provisions of the party law, has expelled the following senators,” the statement said.
“The expulsions are with immediate effect and have been communicated to the Senate and the registrar of political parties,” Tuju said.
The official announced the decision even as the party called a Senate Parliamentary Group meeting today, during which more changes could be announced with Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata being the likely casualty.
The Murang’a Senator last month has angered BBI crusaders when he wrote a controversial letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, warning that the campaign was unpopular in his Mount Kenya backyard.
Yesterday, Tuju’s statement noted that the affected legislators were at liberty to exercise their right to appeal.
Senator Prengei, who was among those affected, said he is yet to receive official communication from the party.
“I don’t know whether it is true or not, I have seen the reports from the party on social media, which is, in fact, laughable.
I am waiting to receive the official communication from the party, hopefully tomorrow (today),” he said.
Similarly, Senator Omanga said she had read the reports on social media.
“I cannot comment on something that is not official. I will only do so once I am furnished with the particulars,” said Omanga, an ardent Ruto supporter.
Last week, while appearing before the disciplinary committee, Senator Mwaura said he had no faith in the committee chaired by Lawyer Muchai Lumatete, saying that an opinion to have him expelled from the party had already been formed.
He said that his removal had been championed by the party chair who had publicly vouched for his exit.
“You already have a determined position. The party’s vice-chair David Murathe has publicly said that I am a candidate for expulsion. I have no faith in this committee,” said Mwaura, who was flanked by his lawyers.
Though nominated by Jubilee, the six have been rallying against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that is sponsored by President Uhuru Kenyatta, their party leader, and opposition chief Raila Odinga.
Mwaura is accused of sponsoring youths to disrupt a recent BBI rally in Nairobi’s Githurai area that was addressed by Raila.
Condemning the expulsions yesterday, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the move was undemocratic.
“It is unfortunate for the country that they are suspending our colleagues because of their support for Deputy President William Ruto, who is the deputy party leader of Jubilee Party,” Cherargei told People Daily on phone.
“They are being punished for showing support for the DP. It is unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic for the party to persecute them without any meaningful reasons.
This is the last nail on the coffin of Jubilee Party,” Cherargei, a close ally of the DP, said.
Today’s Senate PG was called by Senator Farhiya Ali, who is Kang’ata’s deputy, signalling the fact the Murang’a Senator had fallen out of favour with his party leadership.
“Mheshimiwa, you are invited for a Jubilee Coalition, Senate Parliamentary Group meeting at KICC Nairobi, tomorrow Tuesday February 9th, 202 at 10am,” read a message from Senator Farhiya.
“Please be punctual. On behalf of the Party Leader, Uhuru Kenyatta,” added the text that was copied to all Jubilee party leaders in the Senate and Tuju.
High-profile sources intimated to People Daily that Kang’ata could be replaced by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi or his Kirinyaga counterpart Charles Kibiru.
Kibiru, who is elected on an independent ticket, chairs the powerful Senate committee on Finance and Budget.
The senator also heads the influential Mount Kenya BBI team
“Tomorrow’s PG at KICC - Courage brother, do not stumble, though thy path be dark as night.
There is star to guide the humble. Take it to the Lord in prayer,” Kang’ata wrote on Twitter yesterday.
Separately, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen warned that they will not allow any attempts to remove Kang’ata “illegally”, urging his colleagues to resist such moves.
“I have been invited by the Party Leader to a Jubilee Senate PG tomorrow at 10am. I wonder who is being removed this time,” Murkomen, a close ally of DP Ruto, said.
“Those who come to equity must come with clean hands. Let the law be followed,” the former Majority leader added.
With the Jubilee Party having notified the Speaker of the move, the senators will not be allowed to access the chamber and cease to hold their offices.
Senator Mwaura yesterday indicated that they will today move to the High Court to seek further directions.
Unlike their elected counterparts, nominated lawmakers serve at the mercy of their nominating parties.