Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have developed a “war strategy” in a bid to regain control of the Jubilee Party or initiate its dissolution, citing misuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer money.
Further, the faction wants the identity of mysterious individuals whom the party pays Sh67 million as annual rent for the Jubilee headquarters revealed. They say they had been made to believe that the office space was a campaign gift.
The Auditor-General, in his 2016/2017 report, says that he was not provided with the registered lease agreements for the party offices, despite frequent requests. Jubilee has an annual rent bill of Sh98 million, of which Sh67 million is for the party headquarters, and the rest for office space in counties, the Auditor-General’s reports indicate.
The “war strategy” is being crafted by a technical team operating from the soon-to-launched Jubilee Asili Centre on Makindu Road in Nairobi’s Kilimani area.
The team, which includes political strategists, top lawyers and seasoned politicians, is being coordinated by former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, who is said to be operating as a special adviser.
This is the second time Mr Muthama is playing such a role, having been one of the strategists for the Nasa coalition in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.
Heading the technical team is a group of legislators led by Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Nixon Korir (Lang’ata).
Mr Kuria has been tasked with mobilisation while Mr Korir is in charge of the technical bit.
“Our intention is not to register a political party, but to fight for Jubilee until the end. If it fails, then we will go down with the party,” Mr Kuria said.
The team said they settled on Mr Korir because of his vast experience in setting up and running party matters.
The youthful Lang’ata MP was the head of the Red Card Centre during the “No” campaign for the 2010 Constitution referendum, the founding chairperson of URP and an executive director of the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP).
Some of the members of the technical team, whom we spoke to, said they plan to take the fight straight to the doorsteps of President Uhuru Kenyatta, claiming that his pronouncements do not represent the position of the party.
“The party organs have never met and made any decision since the 2017 elections. Other than the recent Parliamentary Group meetings, both the National Executive Committee and the National Governing Council have not held any meeting. The party leader should not assume that his decision is that of the party,” said one member, who requested not to be named.
The team has ruled against registering a political party, saying that such a move might bring legal issues to its elected members who align their ideals to the original Jubilee dream, which they call Jubilee Asili.
Following the falling-out, the DP’s faction is also threatening to spill the beans on how the party and its officials have been squandering party resources, a huge chunk of which is an allocation from the Exchequer as part of the political funds kitty.
The details, which will put to focus the leadership of the party run by chairman Nelson Dzuya and secretary-general Raphael Tuju, also paints a ruling party controlled by shadowy external forces, who are neither its officials nor part of its elected leadership.
In documents seen, allies of the DP also want the party’s director of finance, Ms Wambui Gichuru, investigated and removed from office over the running of the party.
According to a report by the Nation earlier this week the besieged parties are planning to use internal party mechanisms and file a case whose end will be to have the party dissolved for having more liabilities than assets and for failing to adhere to guidelines on running political parties.
Information from the quarter indicated that Jubilee Party received revenues of Sh1.3 billion in the 2016/17 financial year, Sh240 million in 2017/19, and Sh338 million in the 2018/19, meaning that the party has had an income of Sh1.878 billion since 2016.
The revenues are from members’ contributions and allocations from the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.
In the 2017/18 financial reports, Dr Ruto’s allies allege that the party went against the law by spending more than 30 per cent of the allocated budget on administrative costs yet the cap is 30 per cent.
They claim that the party has been spending funds on fictitious political events so as to balance books.
Further, they claim that Kanu was not authorised to enter into a post-election merger as it had presented a pre-election agreement.