24 May 2012

Kenya: Moi Seeks to Block Uhuru

Barely a week after Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta launched his party, The National Alliance, his former Kanu rival Gideon Moi has moved to block him from using some colours.

Gideon, the acting Kanu chairman, through his secretary-general Nick Salat accuses TNA of using Kanu's red, black and green colours.

He has also accused Uhuru of being behind the planned eviction of Kanu from their headquarters near Yaya Centre in Nairobi. It is understood that the building in which Kanu is housed belongs to the Kenyatta family and the management has asked the party to leave by next week. "We wish to give notice to file a complaint for determination by the Political Parties Tribunal in respect of extensive usage of our colours by a rival party, The National Alliance (TNA) during its official launch on 20th May, 2012," says part of the letter from Salat to the chairperson of Political Parties Tribunal.

But Uhuru's ally Justin Muturi dismissed the claim saying Kanu has never patented its colours and therefore anyone was free to use them. The two sons of the first and second presidents respectively have been fighting since the 2007 elections when Gideon lost his Baringo Central parliamentary seat and Uhuru's camp failed to nominate him to Parliament.

Since then, Gideon has made several unsuccessful attempts to kick out Uhuru from the chairmanship of Kanu. In December last year Uhuru called a joint National Executive Committee and Parliamentary group meeting in Naivasha to try and resolve his differences with Gideon but they did not get along.

Yesterday Salat said he had also written to the Registrar of Political Pparties Lucy Ndung'u to register their complaint about the colours but that letter was ignored. "Huwezi muacha mwanamke kisha wabeba marinda yake kumvisha mke mwingine (You cannot divorce a woman and take her gown to dress your new wife)," said Kanu NEC member Abdirahaman Bafadhil.

Kanu further accused Uhuru's allies of being a behind the withdrawal of Sh6.5 million from the party coffers. According to Salat, the money was irregularly withdrawn from the party's account at Coop Bank near Parliament. Two days after Kanu held its NDC on April 14, Salat wrote and delivered a letter to the bank asking the manager to freeze its account until a change of signatories was made but the bank refused to receive the letter. The money is said to have been transferred to a lawyer's account on April 23.

Kanu organising secretary Justin Muturi denied any wrong doing, saying Salat is the one who negotiated with the law firm and should explain what the money was meant for. "He is the one who negotiated the deal and should come out clean and tell the truth instead of resorting to innuendos. He has all the documents and the decree of that lawsuit," Muturi said.

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