AfricaPress-Kenya: Six nominated Jubilee senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto are on the verge of having their seats declared vacant.
Yesterday, the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu told The Standard that her office has kicked off the process of striking off the names of the expelled senators from Jubilee membership roll.
Ms Nderitu said that having received communication on the party’s resolution to kick out the errand members from Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju, her office has begun to review the procedure followed in expelling the members. She said the office has about three days to make a decision, while hinting that it could be as soon as today.
“We received Jubilee’s communication this morning. We are reviewing it before we can communicate our decision, which will be done within three days,” said Nderitu.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s side in the ruling Jubilee has expelled nominated senators Isaac Mwaura, Millicent Omanga, Mary Seneta, Falhada Dekow, Naomi Waqo and Victor Prengei for associating with Deputy President William Ruto.
The letter by Jubilee was submitted to the Office of the registrar and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Should the registrar strike off the names from the party’s membership list, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka will declare the six seats vacant. This will consequently pave way for IEBC to start the process of replacing the fired senators.
On Friday, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal declined to issue orders barring the registrar from removing Mwaura’s name from the membership of Jubilee Party.
They errand members, however, are free to move to the High Court if they are not satisfied with the registrar’s decision. And in the event that the High Court also upholds the party decision, they would still have the right to proceed to the Court of Appeal and finally the Supreme Court.
Ruto’s allies have already indicated that they will battle their removal to the bitter end.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany said they would go up to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision even as he expressed confidence that the senators would serve their full term.
“There’s no way they can nominate from outside the list that is with the IEBC. But even before we get there, we are going to exploit the appeal mechanism provided for in law,” said Mr Kositany.
He added: “I can tell you the senators will serve their term to the end. They have done no wrong. It is just victimisation.”
Already, Uhuru is facing a headache in replacing the six nominated senators, as some of their potential replacements are allies of DP Ruto.
United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Veronica Maina is among top names in a closed party list filed with the IEBC, making her an automatic pick should the six lose their seats.
Article 98 of the Constitution requires political parties to nominate 16 women, according to the proportion of members of the Senate elected, and two other nominees being one man and one woman, representing the youth, one man and one woman representing persons with disabilities.
Priority set out
The lists apply according to the priority set out by political parties, implying that the higher a candidate is on the list of their respective political parties, the higher their chances of being nominated.
Therefore, should the party effect the ouster, the six will be replaced by Caroline Daudi (Machakos), Veronica Maina (Murang’a), Francisca Kamuren (Nakuru) and Beatrice Gambo (Coast).
Senator Mwaura, who was picked to represent persons with disability, would be replaced by Joyce Amasong, who is listed under the same category while Senator Prengei, who represents the youth, will be replaced by Peris Wambui from Murang’a.