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PNU de-whips three Meru MCAs who skipped meeting with Munya

Wednesday June 24 2020
meru

Meru County Assembly during a past session. The Party of National Unity has de-whipped three Meru MCAs from assembly committees for participating in a meeting with Governor Kiraitu Murungi which castigated Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVID MUCHUI

The Party of National Unity (PNU) has de-whipped three Meru MCAs from county assembly committees for participating in a meeting with Governor Kiraitu Murungi which castigated Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

In the meeting, the CS was accused of disrespecting the governor.

The three MCAs were among 45 others who held a separate meeting on a day Mr Munya was to meet all ward reps.

Mr Munya was forced to cancel his planned meeting with MCAs after it was sabotaged by Jubilee Party members.

MUNYA BASHED

Later, the 45 ward reps held a presser in which they bashed the former Meru governor.

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While PNU has moved to remove the members from committees, Jubilee is also threatening to discipline the minority party MCAs who skipped the pro-governor Murungi meeting.

On Monday, Minority Leader Ayub Bundi said PNU had resolved to de-whip three of its members from various committees.

Those de-whipped are Kangeta MCA Romano Mwito who lost the Water Committee chairmanship, Kiegoi/Antubochiu MCA Kimathi Ithibua who lost Public Accounts Committee chairmanship and Mikinduri Ward rep Gabriel Chokera who has been removed from all committees.

CONTEST DE-WHIPPING

Mr Ithibua and Mr Cholera confirmed they had been removed from all six committees but said they would contest the move at the Political Parties Tribunal.

"We received letters with six allegations including not attending party meetings and disrespecting the party leader. We want to know if the meeting called by CS Munya was a PNU meeting and whether the Cabinet secretary is still our party leader," Mr Ithibua said.

Mr Mwito said the party’s decision was against the county assembly’s standing orders which require an MCA to be in at least two committees.

"This is witch-hunt. My problems with the party leadership started immediately after election," Mr Chokera said.

The three are among six PNU MCAs who took part in the pro-governor meeting on the day they were supposed to meet Mr Munya.

During the meeting, Mr Ithibua, accused CS Munya of playing politics by alienating Governor Murungi in his development tours of the county.

“When the CS is visiting other counties, we have seen him with governors and CECs but in Meru, he does not have the courtesy to consult with the governor. If you want to play politics, resign and come to Meru so that we face each other,” Mr Ithibua said.

LIVING IN DENIAL’

Mr Mwito said Mr Munya should stop living in denial and accept that he is no longer the county boss.

As the three joined the anti-Munya brigade, loyal PNU members are said to have met the CS at his home where the clean-up was agreed on.

“I thank the PNU secretary-general for de-whipping the three MCAs for misuse of privileges and abusing the party organs and structures. The de-whipping is effective Monday 22nd June, 2020. They have been stripped of all their appointments to various house committees,” Mr Julius Mugambi, an ally of Mr Munya, said.

Mr Chokera also got into trouble for criticising the Agriculture CS’s stand on the disbursement of miraa funds.

“The Cabinet secretary should continue with the work that was being done by the miraa taskforce. What we are witnessing now is a lot of confusion about the fund and the CS should learn to work with others. As a PNU member, I know the sacco which the CS is vouching for is a political outfit led by politicians,” Mr Chokera said.

STANDING ORDERS

But in a new twist, Mwanganthia MCA Julius Mbijiwe said there was a scheme to prevent PNU from de-whipping errant members who sided with the governor’s allies.

Mr Mbijiwe, who is also the Budget Committee chairman, said the plot involves a proposal to amend assembly standing orders that empower parties to nominate and remove members from committees.

“The amendment proposed by Muthara MCA Kinyua Turibu comes days after his party, KPP, and Jubilee effected changes in the committees. They instead want removal from committees to be decided by the whole House,” Mr Mbijiwe said.

He said the standing orders borrow from the Political Parties Act hence the amendment would not have any impact on the party’s role in nominating committee members.

“The changes they are introducing can only be applicable by amending the Political Parties Act. The Meru County Assembly does not operate in isolation,” he said.

Mr Mbijiwe further warned Majority leader Victor Karithi, a Jubilee Party member, against meddling in PNU affairs.

“There are claims that PNU members who did not attend the meeting where CS Munya was castigated will be disciplined.

PNU has 21 members in the Assembly.

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