A showdown is looming within the Jubilee Party leadership at the Nairobi County Assembly with a section of MCAs planning a leadership coup.
At the centre of the coup, which has been in the works since last week, is a plan to unseat Majority Chief Whip June Ndegwa and her deputy, Ziwani/Kariokor MCA Millicent Mugadi.
The scheme has roped in Governor Mike Sonko who is accused of calling for a meeting with the MCAs at his Upper Hill office to whip members to append their signatures in support of the plot.
The county legislators, led by Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu, claimed that party members have lost confidence in Ms Ndegwa and her replacement is now a done deal.
Mr Kiragu, who has been leading the collection of signatures, said 64 out of 66 party members have already signed in support of Ms Ndegwa’s ouster.
He said that they have already agreed to carry out an election to settle on who will replace Ms Ndegwa but, in the meantime, he will be the interim chief whip.
“The process has been completed and what remains is takeover of the office which we will do later today. We will inform the party later,” said Mr Kiragu on Monday.
Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju confirmed that he is aware of the plan but insisted that the status quo must be maintained and that, if any member has legitimate reasons to want some changes done, then he or she should involve the party.
“Our position is that the status quo remains and, if anyone has legitimate reasons to want some changes, then they should involve the party not the media. We know there are vested interests at the assembly and all manner of cartels involved in the shenanigans at the place and that is why we insist the status quo remains,” said Mr Tuju.
On her part, Ms Ndegwa called the clamour for her removal a witch-hunt peddled by MCAs who want to gain favour with Governor Sonko to help them get their way back into party leadership.
She said that the MCAs are yet to inform her of the problem warranting her removal. She said they have only been accusing her of being “a system’s person”.
She accused Mr Kiragu of being a “serial impeacher” who has a problem with women in power, citing similar plots against Speaker Beatrice Elachi and Finance CEC Pauline Kahiga earlier.
“I don’t know what system is. I know it is an issue of being hit because you stand for what is right. We have been pushing to have pending bills paid. When I say no to corruption then it becomes a big thing,” said Ms Ndegwa.
The chief whip also accused Governor Sonko of being in the plot, alleging that he coerced most MCAs to append their signatures. This is after the initial bid gathered only 10 signatures.
“We were having lunch at Sagret Hotel before the MCAs were called by Mr Sonko for an impromptu meeting. Some called me telling me that they were forced to sign,” she said.
On her part, Ms Mugadi said that their woes stem from their closeness and support for Speaker Elachi.
“This is the same group that betrayed Sonko and now they are set to remove all women from leadership at the assembly, ultimately leading to removal of Ms Elachi,” said Ms Mugadi.