8 February 2012

Kenya: No Changes On the SDP Officials' List - Registrar

THE Social Democratic Party has not changed its officials, Political Parties Registrar Lucy Ndungu said yesterday. Late last year, it was reported that members of SDP won a case which they had filed before the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal compelling the registrar to nullify the appointment of Mutahi Kagwe, Mutua Katuku and Peter Ndwiga as officials of the party. Benedict Wachira and Booker Ngesa had argued before the tribunal that Kagwe had hijacked the party and that that the three were not properly appointed officials.

However, after an official search, the registrar maintains that despite the tribunal's ruling, Kagwe still remains SDP national secretary general, John Mutua Katuku as organising secretary and Peter Ndwiga as the deputy chairman. The chairman of the tribunal, Peter Simani, said the three called a meeting on May 27 last year, which was attended by seven people with the minutes recording one apology and that several persons, amongst them Kagwe, Mutua and Ndwiga were co-opted to ascend to the party positions.

SDP chairman remains Mwandawiro Mghanga, Peter Ndwiga as deputy chairman, Mutahi Kagwe as secretary general and Mutua Katuku as national organising secretary. Katuku called on the SDP factions to unite and ensure that they recruit more members into the party. "Parties should not be individualised and made brief case parties. Whoever wants to be an official should be properly elected and all these worrying people should swallow their pride because we are calling elections soon," he said.

Kagwe said there should be no wrangles in the party's leadership because all officials of the party are interim before compliance with the Political Parties Act. "Part of this compliance is to hold party elections so that everybody will have a chance at the National Delegates Conference. SDP is also recruiting for compliance and elections," Kagwe said.

He added: "As things stand, we are the bonafide interim officials and no amount of screeming and gnashing of teeth can change that." However, party member Benedict Wachira said the registrar "is wrong" and termed her final list illegal. "The registrar has not followed the ruling. We will deal with her," he said.

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