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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Karua wants Kabogo, Sonko out
By Peter Orengo
Juja MP William Kabogo and his Makadara counterpart Mike Mbuvi could lose their seats after Narc Kenya wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties asking they be struck off the party’s list.
Party leader Martha Karua appears to have taken the drastic action after the two MPs decided to associate themselves with the G7, a group led by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.
Narc Kenya party leader and Gichugu MP Martha Karua during a county delegates meeting at the party headquarters in Nairobi, Monday. [PHOTO: WiLberforce Okwiri/STANDARD]
Karua’s hand could also have been forced bearing in mind the controversies that have been swirling round the two MPs in recent weeks.
Yesterday, Karua insisted that the party was not part of PNU and that it will go it alone in next year’s General Election.
"We will not be in a coalition with any party in 2012. Those who feel they are not part of us should openly declare where they belong rather than work against the party," said the Gichugu MP.
She warned "a clique of people" who have been shopping for a party for 2012 and were targeting Narc Kenya that their efforts will not be fruitful.
"Some people have been looking for a party for 2012 and are targeting Narc Kenya. Tell them this party will not be taken over and neither will we accept any sort of coalition," said Karua.
She said she supported the Political Party Act, which seeks to regulate party hopping. Kabogo has been particularly vocal at meetings presided over by Uhuru, daring those opposed to him to cross over so that Central Province can speak with one voice.
He recently differed with Maragwa MP Elias Mbau at a rally in Nyeri after publicly telling him to ask Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth to join Uhuru’s team.
Yesterday, Centre for Multi-Party Democracy chair Justin Muturi said Karua’s demands would put the Registrar of Political Parties, Lucy Ndung’u, in an awkward position.
"Karua could have complied with all requirements of the Political Parties Act under the Constitution but the move means the MPs may lose their seats because they are no longer members of Narc Kenya," said Muturi.
He, however, argued that the current Parliament is operating under the old Constitution where all privileges have been preserved in the Sixth Schedule.
In the defunct laws, an MP who ceased to be a member of a certain political party could continue serving in Parliament as long as he did not inform the Speaker in writing.
"We are introducing a vetting system because we want to follow the Constitution. We are also aware that questions were raised about the character of some of the candidates the party sponsored to Parliament," said Karua, who was speaking during a Nairobi County Narc Kenya official’s forum that met to discuss issues affecting the party.
But Nairobi lawyer Peter Kaluma said if the Registrar of Political Parties grants Narc Kenya its wishes, the MPs would become partyless, prompting a by-election.
"The MPs were elected under the old Constitution through Narc Kenya, but now we are under the new Constitution. The moment Narc Kenya is granted a go ahead, it will throw them out of the party," he observed.
Kaluma noted that so far, Ms Ndung’u had been lenient to party hoppers and had not enforced the Act.
Ndung’u said she had not received Karua’s letter but promised to act when it reaches her desk.
According to Article 17 of the Political Parties Act, any member of a political party who joins another party or publicly advocates for the formation of another party shall be deemed to have resigned from the previous party.
Another section states that a member who intends to resign from the party should give a 14-day notice to the political party and Clerk of the National Assembly.
An earlier request by Narc Kenya to remove Mr Lee Muchiri as the party’s National Secretary General was granted by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.
"We have acted on Muchiri’s case as per the Constitution but we haven’t received the letter regarding MPs. We shall act to it as the law requires," said Ndung’u.
Other politicians who were sponsored by Narc Kenya but have been supporting PNU include Robinson Githae (Ndia), Asman Kamama (Baringo East) and Muhamed Kuti of Isiolo North.
Kabogo accompanied Uhuru to the International Criminal Court at The Hague and has remained close ever since.
He has on many occasions played the role of master of ceremony during weekend political rallies conducted in Nyeri, Murang’a, Nanyuki and other areas in the Mt Kenya region.
Major parties, including ODM have been having problems with rebel members. They have tried to expel them without success.
On Muchiri’s case, the party through Secretary General Danston Mungatana said he continued to support activities of other parties and alliances while holding an important Narc Kenya post.