, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The Jubilee Party Secretariat has downplayed reports that its nationwide party elections have been marred by violence, instead terming them an affirmation of the party’s popularity, even though several people were injured.
Head of the Party’s Secretariat Raphael Tuju said what was interpreted as chaos in various parts of the country is testimony of supporters ‘passion’ for the party.
“I want to urge you as members of the media to define for me violence, because what I have seen is a lot of passion. So when I see people who are pushing each other, shouting at the top of the voices you want to call that violence? You know, I am pleasantly surprised with the level of peace that we have had in this process,” he said.
Tuju was referring to the apparent disorder in various parts of the country where grassroots elections were conducted since Monday, leading to police intervention in areas like Nakuru where they fired in the air and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse rowdy supporters.
Chaos was also witnessed in Embu, Homa Bay and the Coast.
The party’s Secretary General Veronica Maina defended the elections in Nairobi and Nakuru, dismissing claims that there were lists of pre-determined officials.
She added she had to ensure that the elections in the two counties were to fill 19 vacant positions but other positions would be filled equally to make certain that minority communities and disabled also get a chance.
“Our detractors have wanted sometimes to pit Jubilee as a party which is bringing forth a process using violence; that is not the case,” Maina stated.