My weekend was ruined by the shocking discovery that I am a registered member of the Jubilee Party. I have never applied to join the party, filled party registration forms or paid a single cent in subscription fees. Neither have I had close interaction with party members or attended a function and activity where association might be mistaken for affinity to the party.
In simple terms, Jubilee is guilty of inserting my name and national identity card number into its membership register without my knowledge or consent. That is fraud. It could also amount to forgery, invasion of privacy, identity theft and data theft.
Yes, Kenya is under a governing party led by thieves and fraudsters. The frightening thing is that I am not alone. And Jubilee is not alone. If social media chatter is anything to go by, hundreds of thousands of Kenyans are on the membership rolls of various political parties in similar circumstances.
These range from the major parties, such as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee, Mr Raila Odinga’s ODM and Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC, as well as the dozens of briefcase operations that somehow manage to get registered.
In my specific case, it seems I became ensnared through the equally fraudulent membership of Deputy President William Ruto previous outfit, URP.
All the party leaders who perpetrated these momentous frauds owe all their victims an unequivocal apology. On that score, I expect to hear from President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto without delay, together with the firm assurance that my name will immediately be deleted from their Jubilee membership register.
That must be followed by a letter by Jubilee informing the Registrar of Political Parties that I am not, and have never been, a member of the party and that my name on the list transmitted to her office had been included as a result of criminal activity within the organisation.
It follows that the leaders and officials across all political parties who sanctioned and perpetrated the widespread membership registration fraud must be brought to book. Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji need no prompting from any other person or authority.
Beyond criminal charges against individuals, the political parties involved must also face sanctions. If a party submitted fake membership rolls, it follows that its very registration is questionable, as is its right to field candidates for any political office, from ward representatives all the way up to President of the Republic of Kenya. Immediately institute investigations
Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu and the chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mr Wafula Chebukati, must, therefore, pay keen attention to the fraud perpetrated under their watch. They must immediately institute investigations, which may well find that Kenya is being governed by a party that was registered and allowed to field candidates through fraud.
Any political party found guilty must be de-registered. Secondly, logic dictates that electoral candidates who obtained nomination to run for office through fraud have no right to remain in office.
I suppose any election petition against President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto, as well as scores of governors, MPs and Ward Reps would be time-barred. But if the beneficiaries of this malfeasance cannot be removed from office immediately, there should be ways to ensure that they are barred from presenting themselves to voters come the next general election.
This scandal provides the perfect opportunity for us to breathe life into Chapter 6 of the Constitution on Ethics and Leadership, and Chapter 183 of the Laws of Kenya, the Public Officer Ethics Act. The principles that disqualify anyone from public office in breach of the ethical code are also captured in the Elections Act and must no longer be ignored.
All victims of this serial fraud should, meanwhile, ignore Ms Nderitu’s advice on the tortuous process of resigning from a political party.
I have never been a member of Jubilee; therefore, resignation is out of the question. The registrar is hereby notified of the fraud, and it is incumbent upon her to demand that Jubilee removes my name from its membership roll and also institute the necessary disciplinary action.
She can also advise all political parties that the membership lists in her office will be taken as fake and they must submit genuine ones that have not been padded with fake entries.
Finally, association with unsavoury characters and a criminal organisation has exposed me to public hatred, odium, contempt and ridicule and injured my good name, standing and reputation amongst right-thinking members of society. The damage caused by Jubilee cannot be quantified.