Mt Kenya rebels replaced as Jubilee consolidates region

Party caucus says reforms aimed at restoring party's waning fortunes in the President's backyard

In Summary

•The MPs are operating under the banner of Mt Kenya Focus Group.

•It comprises elected party loyalists who have stood by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nyeri MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.
KIELEWEKE: Nyeri MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.
Image: FILE

Jubilee Party’s reorganisation in Central Kenya has gained momentum with the replacement of grassroots officials who left for other outfits.

The replacement of officials who defected to other parties, notably to Deputy President William Ruto's UDA, had been identified as the first step towards revamping the party.

Jubilee's political caucus, Mt Kenya Focus Group bringing together elected party loyalists who have stood by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has been pushing for the replacement of party grassroots officials.

The process is expected to culminate in the establishment of a national delegates conference, which will, in turn, make changes at the national level, giving it a complete revamp.

The revamping of the party received a major boost after the group of legislators met President Kenyatta, who gave them the blessings to start grassroots mobilisation.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, the convener of the Mt Kenya Focus Group, said the fresh efforts would culminate in a new look Jubilee, with structures from the ward level.

He told the Star that by the end of this month, the party intends to have strong structures at least up to the county levels.

“We want to have at least five officials from the polling station to form a committee of 20 at the ward level,” Ngunjiri said.

“The committee from the ward will then form another one of 20 at the constituency and then 20 at the county.  The officials who will be picked by the county committee will then form the NDC.”

He said, “Majority of us have already set up the constituencies and ward committees, kicking out members who have joined other parties, or who we feel are not loyal enough to the cause of the party.”

National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya said the end game is to have a party with strong structures and a firm foundation from the grassroots.

“That is why we are weeding out moles and those that have jumped ship to join other parties. We are within time but we have accelerated activities and that is why we are meeting weekly, on Thursdays, to take stock of our progress,” he said.

“We promised Jubilee members that we will have a national delegates conference where the members will exercise their rights and give us the national party leaders. We are almost there,” said Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who is part of the conveners.

“In counties like Nyeri,we have finalised this process and have the delegates up to the county levels, others are following suit.”

The formation of party committees is going alongside town hall engagements being undertaken in every constituency where the grassroots members are being trained on party discipline.

The revamping of Jubilee to position it as the mainstream party for the Central Kenya region has been the subject of discussion among members of the Mt Kenya Focus Group.

About 25 legislators from the region meet every Thursday morning to chart the party’s plans for the 2022 general elections.

The caucus is also meeting political players and other actors as it positions itself for the 2022 polls, since the party and by extension, the Central Kenya region does not have a popular presidential candidate.

Last Thursday, the caucus met with ODM leader Raila Odinga, who had also been separately hosted for a luncheon by another lobby group bringing together wealthy businessmen from the region under the banner of Mt Kenya Foundation.

Ngunjiri revealed that his group will also be meeting the foundation members, as both groups are working towards a common interest.

“We want to synchronize our political activities with what they are doing at the foundation so that we don't appear to work at cross-purposes,” the Nyeri Town MP said.


Edited by Kiilu Damaris

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star