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Setback for PNU as tribunal bars new officials from office

Tuesday June 11 2019

PNU delegates

Delegates of the party of national unity during a press conference in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KENNEDY KIMANTHI
By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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A tribunal has stopped new officials of the Party of National Unity from assuming office, weeks after they were picked through acclamation by delegates.

The decision by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal is the latest of setbacks for the party that is preparing for another stab at the presidency in the highly anticipated 2022 General Elections.

The tribunal ordered that the status quo in the party be maintained pending an inter-parties hearing of an application by Mr Alphonce Musyoki, who alleged irregularities in the May 25 polls.

Mr Musyoki, who interestingly participated in elections and was picked as the PNU’s National Treasurer, filed the application under certificate of urgency.

The application is to be heard on Friday. The Registrar of Political Parties and 27 of the party's officials are listed as respondents in the suit.

LIMBO

The case throws PNU's plans into limbo as it strategises to cash in on the fallout in Jubilee Party ahead of the next poll.

On Tuesday, PNU Secretary-General John Okemwa questioned why Mr Musyoki moved to court yet he participated in the polls and was elected.

“I have not received the orders but I have heard from other people about it….some people might be out to destroy the party,” Mr Okemwa said.

He said the delegates who participated in the polls were properly selected from across the country “and we have a register”.

He added that it is the party that funded the delegates meeting contrary to claims that some outsiders had a hand in it.

REVIVAL

The revival of the party that Mwai Kibaki used to win a second term as the president had threatened to steal the show in Jubilee's Mt Kenya stronghold.

There were also claims that members of the Kieleweke Team that is against Deputy President William Ruto's State House bid might decamp to PNU if the ruling party collapses.

PNU is seen as a threat to some major parties due to its association with President Kibaki who boasted infrastructure development and economic growth.

The party has been strengthening its branches across the country to ensure they have functional offices and interim leadership where there vacancies arose from desertion or resignation.

BARGAINING CHIPS

Leaders in Mt Kenya have been registering political parties which they hope to use as bargaining chips in the next government.

A number of key political formations have not held elections to fill the highly-coveted chairman, deputy chairman, secretary, and treasurer posts. 

The case is the same for the ruling party Jubilee, the Orange Democratic Movement, Wiper, Ford Kenya, Amani National Congress, the parties seen as defining Kenya’s politics.

During the elections, former PNU leader and Trade Cabinet secretary Peter Munya, who had been invited as a guest, said the peaceful elections were indicated that underlying issues had been resolved.

Ahead of the 2017 elections, President Kenyatta's Jubilee Party suffered a major setback after the tribunal annulled its merger with PNU.

The tribunal overturned the decision of the Registrar of Political Parties to dissolve PNU for the merger, saying the party had not approved.

The move came as a relief to Mr Munya, who was seeking to replace Kibaki as the party's chairman and field candidates for elective posts in the 2017 poll.