Jubilee party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju

Jubilee party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

| File | Nation Media Group

Jubilee has no pact with UDA, Tuju tells tribunal

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has dismissed suggestions the ruling party is legally in a coalition with Deputy President William Ruto-linked United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Mr Tuju explained Jubilee had signed a coalition agreement with the Party of Development and Reform (PDR) but was shocked to find it had rebranded to UDA and changed officials. 

The partnership document, which was deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties, concerned politics of North Eastern and upper eastern, he added.

Mr Tuju said Jubilee Party should not be forced to be in a coalition with UDA, in an apparent response to Jubilee lawmakers who have openly associated with UDA, arguing it is in a coalition with the ruling party.

"It is dishonest to say we are in the same coalition (with UDA). It is a hostile coalition... now hostile in Parliament. It cannot be allowed to continue," said Mr Tuju. 

Mr Tuju was testifying before the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) on Monday, where he defended Jubilee’s decision to expel nominated senator Isaac Mwaura for disloyalty and violating the party’s constitution by pledging allegiance to UDA. 

He described as misrepresentation of facts a statement by the senator that being allied to UDA is not wrong as it has a coalition agreement with Jubilee.

Mr Tuju urged the tribunal to uphold the expulsion of Mr Mwaura as he had violated the party’s constitution and membership oath by describing it as a dead party and shifting loyalty to UDA. 

He said Jubilee does not have an operational cooperation agreement with UDA. 

"Mwaura and others infringed the Jubilee party constitution and were not apologetic. They went on to be rude and called the party dead. It is amazing to call it dead and continue to stick with it. There are other Kenyans living with serious disabilities and qualified to hold the position. Disciplinary is the bare minimum we could do," said Mr Tuju.

The senator has filed the case at the tribunal seeking to have his expulsion rescinded.

Mr Tuju told the tribunal chaired by Ms Milly Lwanga that Jubilee MPs pledging allegiance to UDA have since turned hostile to the ruling party in and outside Parliament. He cited the Nakuru's Hells Gate ward by-election where Jubilee lost to UDA. 

He said the disciplinary action taken against Mr Mwaura and other 'rebels' ought to be upheld by the tribunal so as to enhance governance within political parties, protect democracy and instil political discipline.

“We are trying to build institutions and political parties are important institutions. They should be enabled to function properly. If political parties are dysfunctional, the government and the country becomes dysfunctional. Without discipline there will be a dysfunctional Parliament," said Mr Tuju.

He stated that politicians should not be using the tribunals and courts to delay implementation of disciplinary decisions of their political parties. That, he said, amounts to undermining democratic institutions. 

While being re-examined by his lawyer Harriet Mboce, the Cabinet Secretary without portfolio told the tribunal that some Jubilee MPs are acting against the oath they took when joining the party and they now want to choose when to be loyal. 

Senator Mwaura’s troubles began in February, following some remarks he made against President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kwale during the homecoming ceremony of Msambweni MP Feisal Bader.

He was summoned by the party for disciplinary proceedings, which ended with a recommendation by the National Management Committee (NMC) that he be expelled.

He rushed to the tribunal seeking to bar the Registrar of Political Parties from implementing Jubilee Party’s decision pending hearing of his case. 

But the tribunal threw out the request. Feeling aggrieved, the senator went to court and obtained an injunction halting his removal. 

The tribunal will resume hearing of the case on May 3, 2021.