The move to replace the Kanu national chairman Uhuru Kenyatta with former Baringo Central MP Gideon Moi is illegal, a top party official said on Saturday.
Kanu’s national organising secretary Justin Muturi said a meeting held at the Carnivore restaurant last week during which Mr Kenyatta was allegedly ejected was not properly convened.
“Our constitution says that only the party national chairman, in this case Uhuru, can convene a (National Executive Council) meeting, nobody else,” the former Siakago MP stated.
Mr Muturi was reacting to last week’s move by the Gideon Moi camp to eject the Finance minister from the party’s leadership on grounds that he is a public officer and is therefore barred from holding a position in a political party under the new Constitution.
The Carnivore meeting was reportedly attended by 24 Kanu officials led by Mr Moi and the party’s secretary-general Nick Salat.
The Moi-Salat camp has been critical of Mr Kenyatta’s leadership and hold him responsible for the party’s dwindling popularity.
A day later, three Kanu officials announced they had resigned from the party because they are public officers.
They were national vice-chairman and former Cabinet minister Marsden Madoka, the party’s Bomet branch chairman Paul Sang and Rift Valley representative Josiah Magut.
Mr Madoka is the chairman of the Kenya Revenue Authority while Mr Sang, who is also a former minister, is the chairman of the Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation. Mr Magut is the chairman of the Local Authorities Pension Fund.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Muturi, who is allied to Mr Kenyatta, said the resignations of Mr Madoka, Mr Sang and Mr Magut were not a demonstration of their lack of faith in Mr Kenyatta’s leadership, saying they only quit to conform with Section 77 (2) of the new Constitution which bars public officers from holding positions in political parties.
He also dismissed the 24 Kanu officials who allegedly attended the Carnivore meeting as imposters.
“Carnivore is known for its good nyama choma ... Gideon must have held the purported meeting at the place knowing very well that he will not lack a crowd,” Mr Muturi said.