Registrar asks Tuju to justify push for leadership changes
The wrangles in Jubilee Party took a fresh twist after Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu threw the ball back to secretary general Raphael Tuju to justify the push for leadership changes.
Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have protested what they termed a unilateral decision by Tuju to effect changes to the party’s National Management Committee by replacing key officials.
They claim the appointment of a new management team in total disregard of party organs and members is aimed at politically undermining the DP.
In response to Ruto allies’ demands for documents to back the proposed changes, Nderitu on Wednesday wrote to Tuju asking him to provide the papers requested by party deputy secretary general Caleb Kositany, a strong ally of the DP.
She said Jubilee had submitted relevant documents supporting the changes, but the information sought by Kositany could only be obtained from Tuju’s office.
“The party had submitted to the Registrar all the documents required in law (section 20 of Political Parties Act) and duly filled statutory forms that informed the gazettement,” wrote the registrar.
She added: “As such, the reason the Registrar requested the party to furnish the office with the documents, which would later be availed to requester (Kositany) as procedure dictates. This was communicated to him, on which the Registrar requested time to process and avail.”
Kositany had accused Tuju of falsifying documents to effect unsanctioned changes.
“The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) is independent and therefore executes its mandate with utmost objectivity, just and fairness within the confines of the law,” says Nderitu.
Kositany, the MP for Soy, had requested Nderitu to provide any correspondences between her office and the Jubilee Party regarding the postponement of internal elections.
At the centre of the war is proposed changes to the party’s National Management Committee which have been contested by Ruto and 146 lawmakers in the National Assembly and Senate.
Tuju has defended the changes, saying they were made long before the coronavirus pandemic was first reported in the country.
He dismissed assertions by the pro-Ruto wing of the party that Tuju took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis to effect the changes.
“Tuju took advantage of the current situation in the country and sneaked in the new names in the list of party leadership which were gazetted by the Registrar of Political Parties on April 6,” said Kositany in a press statement.
But in a rebuttal, Tuju said the changes filed are in compliance with the yearly returns required by the law whose deadline was March 31.
“What was filed by the party last month to comply with March 31 deadline were normal yearly returns that are required by the law in terms of changes of office bearers, signatories to the accounts and any other material issues that the register may require by law,” said Tuju.
Kositany said Jubilee was a democratic national institution and “as such should be managed according to its constitution.”
He now wants the Registrar to furnish him with documents, including minutes of meetings allegedly held by the National Executive Committee, documents received regarding change of the party constitution as well as any filings of the party returned and a certified copy of the Jubilee Constitution deposited with the office.
“It is now crystal clear that the frustrations were premeditated with the intention of fraudulently making changes in the party and eventually crippling it,” he said.
Kositany also accused Tuju of frustrating efforts to convene Parliamentary Group and National Executive Council meetings.
The registrar has not, however, indicated whether her office is going to retain the names proposed by Tuju.