Kiraitu allies win Meru Jubilee polls

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Igembe North MP Joseph M'Eruaki (left), Meru
Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki (left), Meru Woman Rep Florence Kajuju and other Jubilee Party officials hold hands after elections of interim officials at Thiiri Centre on December 15, 2016. Allies of the Kikali (Kiraitu, Kajuju, Linturi) political outfit were picked into top positions. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Concerns have been raised over the choice of Jubilee Party interim officials in Meru County following the just concluded elections.

While aspirants agree that the Thursday election process was fair, it is the choice of candidates that has set tongues wagging.

Jubilee stalwarts who are close allies of the Kikali (Kiraitu, Kajuju, Linturi) political outfit carried the day after they were picked into powerful positions.

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Imenti South MP Kathuri Murungi said the selection of the officials should have been carried out according to party strength.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Murungi said the powerful organising-secretary and chairman’s positions went to supporters of the former Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) which was led by Senator Kiraitu Murungi.

Former Meru APK chairman Joseph Muturia was elected in absentia as the branch chairman while former APK secretary Alhaji Mwendia was picked as the secretary-general.

Others are Joshua Baariu as the organising-secretary and Emily Makena as the county Jubilee Women League leader.

NEGOTIATED DEMOCRACY

“There could have been [some] negotiated democracy so that there [is] total inclusivity. We want everyone to feel that Jubilee is one unit and there needed to have party strength representation in the choice of interim officials,” Mr Murungi said on Friday in Meru.

The legislator said although Senator Murungi assured them that the party’s nominations would be transparent, the new officials have an uphill task of uniting all Jubilee aspirants.

“Their biggest challenge is now to demonstrate that they are non-partisan.

“They should be neutral at least until the nominations are over after which they can campaign for their preferred candidates,” said Mr Murungi.

An aspirant for the woman representative’s seat, Elizabeth Kailemia, described the elections as “pre-arranged”.

“The former “Bus” party carried the day. I am a firm supporter of Jubilee because I believe in their ideologies but from what I saw, everything was made to fit the Kikali outfit and it is unlikely that I will win at the nominations,” she told the Nation.

NOMINATIONS ANXIETY

Anxiety is sweeping in the county over the looming party nominations as aspirants seek to bag Jubilee tickets which they hope will easily enable them win in the 2017 elections.

Those who will feel discriminated against during nominations will be expected to join other coalition parties like the Party of National Unity (PNU) led by Meru Governor Peter Munya.

Jubilee is grappling with the headache of avoiding fallouts in the aftermath of the primaries.

But Senator Murungi on Thursday sought to forestall defections by losers.

“We want to make it clear that those elected today are not the ones to do the party nominations. That is a different affair to be carried out by the National and County Elections Board whose work will be overseen by the IEBC,” said Mr Murungi.

The senator assured those who will lose during nominations that they will be considered in other positions.

“Those who will be with us to the very end should know all is not lost. Jubilee is a big house and we will accommodate all of you,” said the senator.

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