Reprieve for Kioni as Political Parties Dispute Tribunal puts on hold Jubilee change of officials

Reprieve for Kioni as Political Parties Dispute Tribunal puts on hold Jubilee change of officials

Embattled Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni during a press address on February 16, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

Embattled Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni has been handed a temporary lifeline after the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) set aside a resolution of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) suspending him, alongside two other senior party officials.

Kioni, escorted by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leaders Raila Odinga and Martha Karua, stormed the new Jubilee Party headquarters in Kileleshwa and regained control, barely 24 hours after a team of interim officials led by Kanini Kega and Adan Keynan took charge at their old headquarters.

The vicious scramble for the control of the party witnessed a push and pull at the new headquarters on Thursday, as Azimio supporters engaged in a heated exchange with security guards who had declined to open the gate.

The rowdy crowd overpowered the guards and stormed into the compound, with Kioni marching in jubilantly accompanied by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

“I have informed you, not once, that there's been an attempt to hijack the Jubilee Party. These attempts started way back in June last year; those efforts have not ceased. William Ruto is on record saying that he must take over Jubilee,” said Kioni.

On Wednesday, Jubilee NEC members and Parliamentarians who have switched their allegiance to President William Ruto arrived at the Jubilee Party officers and took charge of operations after the Registrar of Political Parties ratified the ouster of Kioni, Vice Chairman David Murathe and National Treasurer Kagwe Gichohi, pursuant to resolutions of the Nakuru NEC meeting last week.

Kioni and the ousted party officials however contested the legality of the Nakuru meeting at the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT).

In a verdict rendered by its Chairperson Desma Nungo on Thursday, the tribunal shelved the change of guard pending the hearing and determination of the application.

“We have come here to show solidarity with members of the Jubilee Party. We want to ask the people of Kenya to wake up to the fact that the country is in serious trouble, and there's no reason whatsoever for anyone to imagine that things will get better,” Mr. Odinga said on Thursday at the new Jubilee headquarters, flanked by Kioni.

“Everything we ever fought for and won is threatened. Kenya Kwanza administration has launched an all-out assault on our hard won multiparty democracy. It's out to weaken political parties. We've never seen this kind of spirited assault on our democracy since 1992.”

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the Jubilee Party leader, has maintained a studious silence on the wrangles that continue to besiege his political outfit.

Kioni has hit out at jubilee leaders who have joined ranks with the ruling coalition, saying their move will not weaken the party’s resolve to support Mr. Odinga’s push for electoral reforms.


Raila Odinga Jubilee Party Azimio Jeremiah Kioni President William Ruto

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