- April 15, 2020
- Posted by: p mulee
Deputy President William Ruto’s camp is now relying on the minutes they say are fake to stop proposed key changes in the Jubilee Party.
The DP’s men have raised questions on the authenticity of minutes sanctioning the appointment of five new members to the powerful National Management Committee.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju has dismissed claims that the minutes were fake.
“To be more clear, those changes do not require any minutes. Those changes are premised on the transitional clause and that is what was sent to the Registrar of Political Parties,” Tuju said.
“It is not that this (change) is all we sent. Every year, we are supposed to submit returns on a lot of things, including how we have used our money because the monies are allocated by the Treasury.
“Our accounts must be audited. We have to publish our accounts in the local papers. So, returns are many, on how we are spending our money, our programmes, things we are doing and so forth.
“So, as far as the changes are concerned, that was premised on the transitional clauses of the party. If there are any minutes they saw, then they must be in respect to other things but not the changes,” Tuju said.
The tug of war pitting the country’s first and second in command now puts the Acting Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu at the centre of the conflict.
On Tuesday, Nderitu said her office had received robust feedback from both Jubilee elected leaders and party members.
She promised to make a ruling on the matter within the law after collating all the views. “The office will analyse the submissions as soon as it is practically possible and deal with them as per laid down procedure and the law,” Nderitu said.
Ruto’s men claim the minutes were falsified and will be the smoking gun for what the DP himself has termed illegal and fraudulent changes.
“The minutes submitted to the office of the registrar were forgeries. No changes of party officials can be done without procedural minutes of party organs,” Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said.
“The case is as simple as that,” Murkomen added suggesting that with the revelations of fraudulent minutes, the battle is as good as over.
This even as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s key confidant, David Murathe told the Star that they had agreed on a ceasefire to allow the government to fight Covid-19.
As Ruto firms up his case, details that the proposed officials are strangers in the Jubilee National Executive Council could have informed the tactical withdrawal by the President’s men.
Uhuru’s handlers are understood to have voiced concerns that the raging political war would adversely affect the government’s efforts to deal with coronavirus.
They would also expose internal affairs of the outfit, some of which border on non-compliance with the law.
For instance, Jubilee organs including the NEC have never held any formal meeting since 2017, posing tough sanctions from the registrar of political parties.
On Tuesday, party vice-chairman David Murathe, the president’s key confidant who has been backing the changes, declared, “we have a ceasefire,” signalling a possible de-escalation of tensions.
“Now we are on a ceasefire. Our instructions are that we should focus more on the coronavirus epidemic and stop political sideshows,” Murathe told the Star on phone.
The former Gatanga MP and President Uhuru’s political strategist fired a salvo at Ruto whom he accused of “obsession” with 2022 politics at the expense of serving Kenyans.
“The minutes touched the raw nerves of his (Ruto’s) obsession with the 2022 succession. We are now on a ceasefire and people should stop 2022 politics as it is an unnecessary diversion,” Murathe said.
He had also on Monday said that Uhuru’s allies can as well leave the Jubilee party if push comes to shove and settle on a “bigger political house.”
“It is not like we cannot move on. And if it is the party that they want, we can leave it to them,” he said after a meeting with opposition chief Raila Odinga at the Kajiado home of Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli.
On Tuesday, Tuju said the proposed changes were not “any big deal”.
The former Rarienda MP said the fuss around the changes will not hinder his office from discharging its mandate including making any changes.
“There is no big deal in the changes. Some people can make a big deal out of it but there is nothing. If some people want to make a big deal out of something, they can still do it out of nothing but that will not stop us,” Tuju told the Star.
Jubilee deputy secretary-general and Soi MP Caleb Kositany petitioned Nderitu’s office to release a raft of documents allegedly submitted or filed with her office by Jubilee officials since 2017.
Kositany wants Nderitu to also avail to them any correspondences between her office and the Jubilee party regarding the postponement of internal elections.
Other documents being sought by Ruto include minutes of meetings allegedly held by the NEC, documents received regarding change of party Constitution, any filings of party returns and a certified copy of the Jubilee constitution deposited with the office.
Ruto’s allies believe the documents will expose “impunity and forgery’ on the part of officials at the centre of the initiated changes to the NMC.
“We have information which is highly reliable that the minutes submitted to the registrar’s office were fake with forged signatures of the some NEC members,” Kositany told the Star.
According to Kositany, Tuju and party chairman Nelson Dzuya could have submitted to the registrar illegitimate minutes of fake NEC meetings that purportedly took place and ratified the changes.
“These possible commissions include probable submission of documents and forms to your office that carry or may carry weighty decisions of the party,” Kositany said in his letter to the registrar.
He delivered the letter in person to the office on Tuesday.
ODM national treasurer Timothy Bosire welcomed the toning down of the political fights saying it was the best course to take so that energies are harnessed in the fight against coronavirus.
“The epidemic has no parallels, this is a unique situation. Any personal interests would be to parade ignorance and lack of leadership properties. The situation we are in spares nobody and any diversionary conduct is an indictment to personal character,” the former Kitutu Masaba MP said.
Lucy Nyawira Macharia, Prof Marete Marangu, Walter Nyambati, Jane Nampaso and James Waweru have been proposed to the membership of the Jubilee NMC in place of Veronica Maina, Fatuma Shukri and Pamela Mutua.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, a supporter of Ruto, warned that the DP’s allies are not visitors to the party but integral founders.
He challenged those pushing for unilateral changes to officials of the party to quit if they were uncomfortable with working with the DP.
“This parTy is not somebody’s bedroom or kitchen or property. This is a party for all the people who voted for us, it is no owner’s occupier. Let them quit. Let them form a coalition on their choice but for us, we will remain in Jubilee Party,” Kuria said.
The changes to the NMC has stoked tensions in the ruling party with Ruto claiming they were “illegally and fraudulently” done without authority from the President who is the party leader.
Section 33 of the Jubilee constitution gives the party leader and deputy party leader the powers to appoint interim officials during the transition period before internal elections are done.
The constitution, which was ratified in 2016, presumes that the President as the party leader and the DP as his deputy would work in harmony to make party decisions.
However, the roiling tussle over the changes to the NMC has exposed the deep-seated differences pitting the President against his deputy even as their allies exchange bitter words.
However, Uhuru’s silence over the matter had raised speculations of his approval of the far-reaching changes to the crucial organ in a manner that appears to further isolate the DP and his allies.