Jubilee Party to interview Kibra by-election hopefuls

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 12:00 |
Jubilee Party secretary-general Raphael Tuju with other officials at a past press conference. Photo/PD/FILE

Jubilee Party will interview aspirants for the Kibra by-election, contrary to earlier indications it would conduct a nomination via the secret ballot.

All aspirants for the seat, which fell vacant following the death of MP Ken Okoth last month, are accordingly required to apply as prescribed by Jubilee’s National Elections Board (NEB) by close of business tomorrow. NEB will scrutinise the applications before inviting aspirants for interviews on August 31 up to September 2.

“The nomination methodology being used in this instance is one of the three authorised by the Jubilee Party Constitution,” said secretary-general Raphael Tuju in a statement to newsrooms yesterday.  

Authorised person

In an apparent reference to the conflicting information on the Kibra by-election coming from various sources within the ruling party, Tuju sought to clarify that Andrew Musangi, the party’s chairman of NEB was the only authorised person to be quoted on matters related to the nomination exercise. However, Musangi has powers to delegate the authority.

Tuju also noted that Peter Kahara would serve as the Director of Elections after being seconded to the NEB as per the party Constitution “to provide secretariat services”. He also announced that Albert Memusi would be the party’s Director of Communication who will be tasked with authentication of communication from the party’s secretariat “which has become necessary in this era of fake news”.

Tuju’s move follows a series of conflicting information released by Jubilee operatives over the last two days with regard to the party’s nomination exercise, and in particular the handing over of a list of purported party aspirants to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The list was on Tuesday flagged by Tuju as fake.    

In yesterday’s statement, Tuju also sought to distance himself from the nomination exercise, maintaining that “the Office of the SG has no role under the party Constitution to deal with the nomination issues other than communicating decisions of the NEB”. 

Jubilee Deputy Secretary General, Caleb Kositany, also dismissed claims of division in the ruling party over the nomination of a candidate for the Kibra post. 

Speaking to People Daily in Eldoret town yesterday, however, Kositany who is also Soy Member of Parliament, owned up to the controversial list of candidates who have expressed interest for the seat on a Jubilee ticket, among them professional footballer MacDonald Mariga.

“Expect no other list from Jubilee Party other than the one you have seen doing rounds on social media. There will be no nomination but interested candidates will be subjected to a rigorous interview by the party’s National Elections Board before settling for the best candidate for the Kibra by-election,” he said.

He rubbished claims to the effect that the Kibra by-election had elicited intrigues within the ruling party’s hierarchy pitting camps allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta against those supporting Deputy President William Ruto.

“There is no division within Jubilee’s top leadership over the choice of a candidate for the Kibra seat as being peddled by some critics,” he said. The politician defended Mariga, a former player of the national side, saying he had every right to contest for the seat like any other Kenyan.

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