What was billed as a genius move by Jubilee Party to field footballer McDonald Mariga is turning out to not only be farcical, but also divisive.
Mr Mariga’s choice is facing hurdles among the party’s rank and file with the latest barb coming from Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny.
The MP Wednesday said the mode used to pick the football star on Monday by the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) undermines democracy.
Speaking at Parliament buildings, Mr Kutuny said he expected the party to subject all the 16 candidates through a vigorous democratic process before settling on the best candidate.
“Politics doesn’t know a household name, we need to go back to the drawing table and put our house in order,” he said.
The MP now becomes the third Jubilee lawmaker to oppose the selection of Mr Mariga to fly Jubilee’s flag in the November 7 by-election.
Others that have opposed the election board choice are nominated MP Maina Kamanda and Mr Moses Kuria (Gatundu South).
The two lawmakers on Monday said they would back ODM leader Raila Odinga’s candidate in the Kibra by-election.
Mr Mariga’s selection has also been opposed by one of the aspirants, Mr Morris Peter Kinyanjui, who has appealed the decision of the board saying it was done in secrecy and contrary to party rules.
In his petition to secretary-general Raphael Tuju, Mr Kinyanjui accused the NEB of arrogating itself powers it does not have to conduct the aforesaid selection.
Mr Kinyanjui, who was among the 16 aspirants interviewed, said Mr Mariga’s selection was “not only unfair, deceptive and shrouded in secrecy, but also contrary to the provisions of Jubilee Party’s constitution.”
The election board on Monday settled on Mariga saying he demonstrated passion, zeal and energy to serve the people of Kibra.
NEB chairman Andrew Musangi, while defending its choice, said Mr Mariga has an endearing relationship with the people of Kibra since he was born and bred in the area.
Meanwhile, the IEBC said it will only address complaints in Kibra party nominations after they are formally lodged. The electoral commission further noted that disputes relating to or arising from the nominations “shall be determined within 10 days of the lodging of the dispute with the commission.”
In another development, the aspirants want Jubilee Party to recall and halt gazetting of Mr Mariga’s nomination, saying it fraudulent.
The aspirants, who spoke at Miami Global Hotel in Nairobi , expressed their disappointment, calling the nomination unconstitutional and a charade.
Mr Kinyanjui said the nomination procedure should have followed due process, which is either nomination by consensus, secret ballot or any other democratic method agreed upon by members.
He was in the company of other aspirants, including Ibrahim Said, Jack Owino, Ramadhan Daniel Orongo, Hussein, Frank Amollo, Geoffrey Mwangi and Elly Omondi.
Mr Mwangi said they would not accept a nomination to be forced upon them without due process.
The aspirants, who will submit their grievances to the Party Dispute Tribunal, said they cannot allow a forced nomination.
Additional reporting by Sarah Nanjala