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Showdown looms at KANU meeting

NAIROBI, November 27 – The Former ruling party KANU appeared headed for a showdown on Thursday, after the party’s National Executive Committee rejected a proposal to create the post of party leader.

According to sources a group allied to former Cabinet Minister Nicolas Biwott and former Baringo Central MP Gideon Moi were planning to use the new post to grab power from Uhuru Kenyatta who is the party chairman.

The creation of the post of party leader according to sources, was a scheme meant to reduce Mr Kenyatta’s grip at the party’s helm and thwart his ambitions to seek the 2012 presidency on the party’s ticket.

The party’s Executive Officer Njee Muturi who spoke after the NEC meeting admitted that streamlining of the party’s constitution and the issue of party leader was discussed during the NEC meeting.

“We have no need whatsoever to create the post of party leader at the constitutional level or to create a post for the National Governing Council to fill,” Mr Muturi stated.

He stressed that Uhuru Kenyatta was still the party leader.

“In ODM Kenya the chairman is Poghisio but the real party leader is Kalonzo (Musyoka).  In ODM the chairman is Henry Kosgey but the real party leader is Raila Odinga.  In KANU, the chairman is Uhuru and the real party leader is Uhuru,” Mr Muturi told reporters after the meeting.

Mr Muturi further pointed out that the aim of Thursday’s National Governing Council would be to find replacements for positions which had been left vacant as a result of defections.

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“The National Governing Council will be to replace the officials who have left the party,” Mr Muturi emphasised.

He pointed out that the main aim of the NGC would be to discuss the amendment of the party’s constitution to comply with the Political Parties Bill.

“We will also have the National Delegates Conference to amend the constitution of KANU so that it complies with the Political Parties Act,” he outlined.

Sources at Wednesday’s meeting told Capital News that proposed former Baringo Central MP Gideon Moi had been proposed for the vice chairman’s position, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi as the Party Secretary and Parliamentary Chief Whip; while the Organising Secretary would be taken up by Mr Muturi.

Also proposed to occupy the treasurer’s position was former Wajir North MP Dr Abdullahi Ali.

The source however said the names were to be ratified during Thursday’s NGC.

“These are just our suggestions and some of our thoughts, but of course the final decision will be up to the delegates in tomorrow’s meeting,” said the source.

Meanwhile, the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndungu during a media workshop with the Electoral Commission of Kenya said only two parties had submitted their registration applications and only 20 out of the 168 registered parties had given their constitutions.

She said: “We are currently verifying the two applications.”

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Political parties have up to next Wednesday to hand in their constitutions and up to December 31 to comply fully with the Political Parties Act.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya may extend the deadline to allow the parties to comply with the Act.

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