New team formed to push for formation of Jubilee Alliance Party

Saturday October 3 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta presents a copy of the Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Policy document to the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru, during it's official launch at K.I.C.C, Nairobi. Kenyatta is expected to unveil a committee to oversee the dissolution of Jubilee affiliated parties to pave way for the Jubilee Alliance party (JAP). FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta presents a copy of the Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Policy document to the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru, during it's official launch at K.I.C.C, Nairobi. Kenyatta is expected to unveil a committee to oversee the dissolution of Jubilee affiliated parties to pave way for the Jubilee Alliance party (JAP). FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JUSTUS WANGA
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to unveil a committee to oversee the dissolution of Jubilee affiliated parties to pave way for  a new outfit, the Jubilee Alliance party (JAP), in the next two weeks.

Impeccable sources indicate Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and former Kwanza MP Noah Wekesa are tipped to co-chair the team that brings together at least three top officials from all parties that have accepted to join the JAP bandwagon.

Mr Murungi told a closed door meeting of politicians from Meru, Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties last weekend that he had wound up the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) in favour of JAP.

The move by the President, the Sunday Nation established, is meant to help beat a self-imposed deadline of December when the respective parties are expected to have dissolved their parties.

Through this, Dr Wekesa will make a surprise comeback to mainstream politics and this time around vouching for the man (Mr Kenyatta) he viciously campaigned against in 2013 elections.

Dr Wekesa supported Cord leader Raila Odinga in the last elections and by settling on him, Mr Kenyatta appears to be sending overtures to western Kenya in the run up to next polls.

RIPPING FROM DIVIDENDS
As for Senator Murungi he could be somewhat reaping from the dividends of accepting to fold APK, something he adamantly refused to do ahead of the last elections at a time Mr Kenyatta was seeking to paint the entire Mt Kenya region in TNA colours.

He ended up denying TNA a substantial amount of seats in Mt Kenya East.

Other notable members of the committee are the two majority leaders in Parliament Mr Aden Duale (National Assembly) and Prof Kithure Kindiki (Senate), URP chairman Elias Bare Shill and Secretary General (SG) Fred Muteti.

TNA is represented by Chairman Johnson Sakaja and SG Onyango Oloo. UDF party leader Benjamin Washiali will also sit in the committee.

Other members are MPs Alice Ng’ang’a, Mary Emase, Ferdinand Waititu, Jamleck Kamau and two governors Nderitu Gachagua (Nyeri) and Ken Lusaka (Bungoma and New Ford Kenya party leader).

GNU party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri, Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor, her Narok counterpart Soipan Tuya and Mombasa politician Suleiman Shahbal are the other leaders in the committee.

Sources says the composition also ensures representation from other parts of the country with Taveta MP Naomi Shaban (Kanu) and ODM’s Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi North) touted to be members.

Mr Mung’aro was replaced as the minority whip in the National Assembly by his party last year following accusations of hobnobbing with Jubilee.

A HOT-BUTTON

Majority chief whip and Kajiado South MP Kato Ole Metito, Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti, his Kericho counterpart Charles Keter, and former West Mugirango West MP Henry Obwocha (Chairman Privatisation Commission) also feature in the list.

After the exodus, Mr Kenyatta will be JAP’s party leader with Deputy President William Ruto his deputy.

The matter is, however, still under wraps with most Jubilee MPs not willing to divulge more details.

In the process of corroborating this story for instance, URP Secretary General Fred Muteti demanded to know who had leaked the information to the Sunday Nation.

“Who has told you that? It is supposed to be a guarded secret,” he retorted.

But it is some parts of the DP’s Rift Valley backyard whose support for JAP has been wavering.

Dissolution of URP has in particular been a hot-button issue with Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto leading the onslaught against his party leader the DP.

A BITTER EXCHANGE
At some point, the DP has been forced to lend the services of his boss, Mr Kenyatta to help clamp down on dissenting voicing in the Rift Valley region.

Their differences boiled over last month at a public function that saw them bitterly exchange.

“It is not possible that URP top leadership can wake up one morning and make unilateral decisions on matters that have serious ramifications and believe that the party’s rank and file will blindly follow suit,” the governor said. 

“You cannot start lecturing me on whether or not to fold the party (URP). I am not a fool, I know what I am doing. If we do not merge the parties, then we would not deliver the next election,” the DP told the governor.