Fear grips Jubilee aspirants over direct nominations imposed by party leaders

Kilifi County Senator aspirant professor Chenje Mwachiro (c) with Kilifi North constituency aspirant Esther Kache (R) addressing journalists in Kilifi. PHOTO: DAVID NGUMBAO.

Kilifi, KENYA: More than 300 Jubilee party aspirants in Kilifi County have expressed fear over direct nominations being imposed by senior party leaders.

Speaking during a press conference at Kilifi on Thursday, the aspirants led by Kilifi North constituency and Kilifi county senator aspirants Esther Kache and Professor Chenje Mwachiro respectively, said they of late have noticed the influx of people from other political parties who did not contribute to the growth of the party in the area.

The nominations are scheduled between 13th and 26th of April 2017.

Those in attendance included politicians eyeing the Members of County Assembly (MCAs), Parliamentary and Senate seats.

“Getting new members from other political parties is a blessing to us but we want to tell our seniors that we want a fair and free nomination process,” Professor Chenje said.

“We grew with this party when it was little known, therefore for someone to come and get a special treatment will not augur well with us,” added Prof Chenje.

He said the recent defections by politicians from other parties to Jubilee should not make Jubilee leaders in the region forget those who fought for the party’s recognition; in a region that was heavily dominated by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Professor Chenje said, the aspirants will not go for the smart card system during the nomination process reckoning that the digital system would victimize some of the candidates and cost the party in the August 7th elections.

“As Kilifi North aspirants, we have declared that we would only use identification and voter’s cards to participate in the nominations as it has been extremely difficult to get the smart card,” added Chenje.

Kilifi North constituency aspirant Esther Kache said the smart card process would work well for those with financial muscles; hence lock out potential aspirants but who have no money to finance the purchase of the cards.

“If a rich person comes here to sponsor a candidate to get even a million cards for the people, don’t we see that we shall be missing the point because at the end of the day, the best candidate for the seat would have been left out because he or she is financial unstable,” Kache said.

She asserted that the games allegedly being played by the top party leaders would not arguer well with aspirants who would want change for the county.

“We will not allow anyone in the form of a newcomer accorded special treatment just because they are friends with our national leaders since this will cause division and animosity in the party,” she said.

Earlier on, other party aspirants drawn from different regions in the county met with the county Jubilee party officials at Juwaba hall,where they demanded for an assurance on free and fair nominations in the coming primaries.

“We have seen some incidents where some party aspirants have gone out of their way to speak ill about their fellow aspirants in the party. I thought as Jubilee, we are a team. Mr Chairman we want to be assured that this exercise shall be free and fair,” said Ruth Bendera, an aspirant for the Sokoni ward seat.

However, Jubilee Party Kilifi chairman John Mumba assured the aspirants that the nominations will be free and fair and no one will be victimized.