Anthony Mwangi and Sarah Ndung’u
President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that stern action will be taken on those involved in violence during the ongoing party primaries.
He said police have been put on high alert to deal ruthlessly with individuals involved in organising or participating in chaos during the exercise.
The Head of State told a press conference at State House the government was concerned that incidents of chaos and violence that have sometimes featured in party primaries may be repeated.
“Let me say clearly that such violent acts will not be tolerated and police will be ready to deal with such individuals at any time and place,” he warned.
“In recognition and respect of Article 31 of the Elections Act that governs party primaries, our police force has been put at the disposal of all political parties to ensure security of all citizens and communities during this exercise.”
Uhuru said his government was committed to enforcing the rule of law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens and communities during party primaries and General Election in August.
“A culture of hooliganism during the electoral process must not and will not be allowed to gain currency and acceptance,” he cautioned.
He further warned those vying on a Jubilee Party ticket that they risk being disqualified should they be involved in violence. Uhuru said he was confident the party primaries would be robust and credible and “one that we can all trust and have confidence in”.
He advised aspirants who will not be satisfied with any aspect of the process to raise their concerns in a civil manner and use the internal party processes set up to consider and adjudicate on any such concerns. “You must absolutely reject engaging in any unruly disruption of the process,” the Jubilee Party leader told aspirants.
Meanwhile, by last evening, it was all systems go as Jubilee Party geared up for her primaries in 21 counties today. The party postponed Nairobi primaries to Monday after following requests from the Muslim community.
“In response to major representation to the party by the large Muslim community in Nairobi, the National Executive Committee and National Election Board has postponed the party primaries from Friday 21 to Monday 24,” said Secretary general Raphael Tuju.
Communications director Albert Memusi said nomination materials had been dispatched in respective counties. According to the revised Jubilee Party nomination rules, 2017, the National Executive Committee (NEC) has the powers to review a candidate’s suitability and revoke the certificate.
Jubilee has also set tough rules related to violence during the nomination process. All aspirants seeking the Jubilee ticket must be prepared to go to the nominations as the party rules only provide for universal suffrage. There is no provision for direct nomination or consensus.