, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Two New Ford Kenya party members moved to the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal on Monday to stop the planned merger with other Jubilee Party affiliates later this week.
Peter Wafula and David Nyongesa want the merger stopped on the grounds that the party leaders led by Bungoma Governor Kennedy Lusaka and who include Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa did not consult the wider body corporate before committing to the merger.
Lusaka, they submitted, advertised the dissolution of New Ford Kenya before factoring in the views of the broader party membership and for the tribunal to allow said merger to move forward, they submitted, would cause them to, “suffer great injustice.”
A National Delegates Conference at which, “all merging parties vote to dissolve,” according to the Jubilee Party secretariat is slated for Thursday but Wafula and Nyongesa are not the first to challenge the legitimacy of the planned merger.
Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta moved to the Political Parties Tribunal in December of last year challenging the merger on the same grounds as Wafula and Nyongesa, that The National Alliance (TNA) membership of which he is a part, was not satisfactorily engaged.
“What is being peddled around are declarations of the National Oversight Board under TNA which represents a handful of members and are not a true depiction of majority of its members,” he submitted to the tribunal.
He also raised the concern that while the Political Parties Act was clear under section 11(7) that Members of Parliament and County Assemblies would retain their seats should they change parties on occasion of a merger, the Presidency and Governors did not enjoy the same level of certainty.
Legal impediments which, President Kenyatta said at a State House meeting with New Ford Kenya party leaders Lusaka, Wamalwa and former Minister Muskari Kombo in July, had been resolved.
“I want to assure you that we will also merge our parties. The issues of the law which had delayed us have now been resolved,” he assured.
At the meeting, Lusaka also assured President Kenyatta that New Ford Kenya’s decision to dissolve and merge into one Jubilee Party was, “unanimous,” as reported by the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit.