Kenya: Raphael Tuju Defends Isaac Mwaura's Expulsion From Jubilee

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has defended the party's decision to expel nominated senator Isaac Mwaura. The legislator was kicked out of the ruling party for disloyalty and violation of the party's constitution by pledging allegiance to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

While appearing before the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) on Monday afternoon, Mr Tuju urged the tribunal to uphold the expulsion of Mr Mwaura, the SG said the nominated senator 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, which is associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

"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 are qualified to hold the position. Disciplinary (action) is the bare minimum we could do," said Mr Tuju during hearing of a case filed by Senator Mwaura at the tribunal.

He 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 Nakuru's London Ward by-election where Jubilee lost to UDA.

"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.

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

Insisting that Jubilee party should not be forced to be in a coalition with UDA, the SG said the ruling party had signed a cooperation agreement with the Party of Development and Reform (PDR) and was shocked to find it had rebranded to UDA and changed officials.

The tribunal heard that the partnership document, which was deposited to the Registrar of Political Parties, concerned politics of North Eastern and upper eastern.

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 multi-democracy politics 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, is undermining democratic institutions.

While being re-examined by his lawyer Harriet Mboce, the Cabinet secretary without portfolio told the tribunal that some Jubilee parliamentarians are acting against their own oath that they signed when joining the party.

Senator Mwaura's troubles started in February following the remarks he made against President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kwale during a homecoming ceremony of Msambweni MP Feisal Bader.

He was summoned by the party for disciplinary proceedings which ended with an expulsion recommendation by the National Management Committee (NMC).

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 order halting his removal.

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

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