Bid to reunite PNU falters

July 15, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 15 – A top level meeting of the Party of National Unity (PNU) ended in disagreement Tuesday after officials failed to reach consensus on key issues in the agenda.

An official who attended the talks told Capital News that affiliate parties attending the PNU Council meeting could not agree on party membership.
Officials representing the Democratic Party, Ford Kenya and Narc Kenya disagreed on whether to adopt individual or corporate membership.
Another contentious issue was the monthly fee paid by members, where Members of Parliament (MPs) insisted they should pay Sh5, 000 while other members wanted to continue paying Sh10, 000 per month.
“We did not agree on many things on the agenda especially the issue of membership since we want PNU to be the mother party,” the official revealed.
A plan to elect party officials was also abandoned after President Mwai Kibaki, who chaired the meeting anticipated that it would cause further divisions in the party.
“The President ordered that we should not elect officials at this time since it was premature and would only divide the party more,” said the official.
Following the differences, the meeting agreed to form two different committees to deal with the issues.
One committee made up of party members and sitting MPs would address controversial issues and report to the Parliamentary Group on Friday next week.
Another 15-member team would be chaired by Kwanza MP Noah Wekesa. It would study the Political Party Act, which was implemented last October and advise the PNU Council on the formation of, among other things, party structures in accordance with provisions of the new law.
All political parties in Kenya are required to conform to the Act within the next 180 days.
The committee would also examine the various options the affiliate parties have within PNU.
The Tuesday meeting was attended by four officials from each affiliate party.
Wekesa has, in the meantime, downplayed reports of threats by some parties to quit PNU.
“I don’t think anyone is threatening to pull out of PNU; the issue of Party of National Unity was discussed at length, before its formation,” he emphasised.
Earlier, New Ford Kenya MP Bonny Khalwale said he declined to attend the meeting because his party was focusing on revitalising itself before the next general election.
PNU has been facing several challenges with some key members expressing their interest in the top seat.
President Kibaki Tuesday reminded them that it was too early to start the campaigns since the poll was four years away.
The PNU Council meeting also resolved that all those who had been contracted by the party during last year’s election campaigns for various services be paid immediately.
Earlier this year, the suppliers staged several protests at the PNU offices demanding payment for cars, badges, T-shirts, caps and billboards.


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