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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Kanu plans Uhuru ouster over The Hague trial
By Vitalis Kimutai
The Independence party Kanu is set to hold a Special National Delegates Council (NDC) meeting on Friday where radical changes in the party leadership structure and operations would be unveiled.
The meeting comes as national chairman Uhuru Kenyatta is under attack over last week’s statement that he needed a month to make public the party he will use in gunning for the Presidency in the next polls.
Uhuru said during a Gema meeting in Limuru that he was consulting with various leaders from different regions before making the announcement.
Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta [Photo: File/Standard]
"Being the Kanu chairman, Uhuru should have seized the opportunity to popularise the party. His lack of commitment has raised concern among members who are seeking direction and they expected the chairman to provide leadership," said Secretary General Nick Salat.
Salat said Kanu would go it alone in the next general election and that aspiring candidates for the Presidency, Parliament, Senate, Gubernatorial, Women and County representatives should prepare for the nomination process.
NEC member Ahmed Bafadhil said he would ask Uhuru during the NDC meeting to step aside as the party chairman pending the determination of a case facing him before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the 2007 post-election violence in the country.
"I have received opposition following the position I have taken but nothing will deter me from exercising my democratic right as a party member," Bafadhil said in a statement on Monday.
Uhuru is expected to be put to task over his association with PNU Alliance without the authority of the party organs.
During a retreat in Naivasha in December, last year, Uhuru was put to task by NEC and Parliamentary Group members for failure to hold consultative meetings with officials to address various issues.
But after the heated meeting, Uhuru, Vice Chairman Gideon Moi, Secretary General Nick Salat and other officials announced the differences had been ironed out and a road map to revitalize the party had been laid out.
"We need to focus on revamping the party and comply with constitutional provisions. The party should play a leading role in the elections," said Uhuru.
Gideon said: "We are going to hit the ground running as we seek to make the party a formidable outfit."
Uhuru has said Kanu will conduct recruitment drives across the country and field candidates in all levels.
A revised party constitution will be tabled before the 4,200 delegates from the 47 Counties and the party’s Parliamentary Group members of 15 MPs.
The meeting also seeks to comply with the new Political Parties Act, the Election Act and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act among other legal provisions.
The last time the party held NDC was in 2008 to comply with the Political Parties Act.
Proposals to change the party name to Kenya Alliance National Union on the grounds the word "African" was discriminative was rejected by NEC members.
"The party shall remain a corporate body with a common seal and shall have perpetual succession and may sue and be sued," the revised constitution states.
Life membership has been abolished and in its place, Gold and Ordinary categories created.
Decision to scrap life membership was informed by the fact that some politicians including President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi – have not denounced their membership.
Gold card is renewable every 10 years while both Ordinary is renewed yearly.
"The rules are that all the national officials must be Gold card holders as they will be in office for five years," a NEC member said.
Every member of the party according to the revised constitution shall demonstrate allegiance and loyalty to the country’s constitution and that of the party and its leadership. A member is allowed to terminate membership at anytime provided he/she gives written notice to the Secretary General, subject to the provisions of the Political Parties Act on termination of membership of a political party.
The streamlined leadership structure has seen the reduction of vice chairmen from four to two while for the other positions there shall only be one assistant.
The positions are – National Chairman, First and Second National Vice chairmen, Secretary General, National Treasurer will have one deputy each.
The National Organizing Secretary, however, will have two deputies – one in charge of programmes and training while the other is in charge of branch operations.
The position of Director of Elections has been scrapped and replaced with the National Election Board (NEB).
The party will have a Policy Advisory Council consisting of seven secretaries – Secretary for Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs, Secretary for Public Policy and Economic Affairs and Devolution, Secretary for Media Relations, Secretary for Environment Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Secretary for Education, Research and Technology, Secretary for International Affairs, Secretary for Labour and Industrial Relations.
In line with the new structures of devolved government, the position of Provincial representative has been scrapped and the new structures starting at the bottom with polling station, ward, sub branch (constituency) and branch (County). Members of the County Assembly will sit at the branch level.
"Being a political party, we are trying to move away from the usual government administrative structures like locations and sub locations, and adopting one based on electoral units," Justice Muturi, the national Organising Secretary said. Powers initially vested on the chairman have been reduced and given to various organs of the party.
The chairman has full authority and will provide policy guidance to the various organs in the party. He/she will attend all caucuses of the party.
The Secretary General will head the secretariat and the Principal Accounting Officer.
Kanu Foundation has also been scrapped in the revised party constitution, which seeks to embrace professionalism in its management structures.
Properties spread across all parts of the country, which have been under the management of trustees and branches, will now be directly owned and managed by the party headquarters.
Dispute over ownership and management of party properties has been persistent over the years with some of the trustees having moved to other parties.
"In Nyeri for example, President Kibaki remains a trustee of the party property alongside the late Isaiah Mathenge and Munene Kairu.