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Citizen Weekly

Monday 4 August 2014


There appears to be deep cracks emerging in The National Alliance party with MPs and politicians allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta now demanding for fresh elections of party officials from grassroots to the national level thus signaling notice to the interim officials to quit party leadership.

According to sources well versed with TNA power games, MPs are now plotting to kick out party chairman Johnson Sakaja and secretary general Onyango Oloo to pave way for democratically elected officials who would steer the party to 2017 elections and beyond.

The bone of contention is an allegation of mismanagement of party funds during the campaign period. A number of MPs have been openly lobbying to have the party’s top officials account for the billions spent during the campaigns.

Leading the onslaught against Sakaja and his team is Kajiado West MP Moses Ole Sekuda and his Kieni counterpart Kanini Kega. The two MPs have been vocal and at one time, went public that the two could not be relied on to take the party to the next level.

Other MPs known to have very little time and respect for Oloo and Sakaja are Francis Waweru (Ndaragwa), JM Waiganjo (Ol Joro Orok), Tirus Ngahu (Kangema), Joseph M’Eruaki (Igembe North), Njogu Barua (Gichugu) and Kathuri Murungi (South Imenti).
Others are Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache), Peris Tobiko (Kajiado East) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) among others.

The fresh storm that has again erupted in TNA this time round is mounting pressure to relieve top party officials of their positions. Trouble for Oloo and Sakaja began immediately after TNA held party nominations. First, there is a case of mismanagement of party funds and blocking aspirants from accessing campaign money during the last elections.

Sources now say that this time, close to 35 MPs are behind this fresh scheme and the target is to stop the national officials from accessing the Sh89 million allocated to the party from the Political Parties Fund. “We cannot allow the current leaders to gain access to these funds. They must tell us how they spent the money that was in the account after the last general elections,” the MP said in a statement.
Those opposed to the current leadership say the party has a long list of creditors the party owes millions of shillings arising from supplies during the last general elections. The MPs now claim the top party officials cannot account for over Sh100million.

Party sources say top party officials cannot account for another Sh16.7million which was raised and spent during the campaign period. It is claimed that the account signatories were a Ms Gichuru who was a mandatory signatory to the account with either Ms Guchu or secretary-general being the other signatory.

But Sakaja has dared those with evidence to give it to the anti-corruption commission or make it public. He termed the allegations “very serious” and accused a group of MPs trying to smear their names.

“The party books are open for scrutiny and all members are invited to look into them instead of going to the press with rumours,” Sakaja said.
“There is no money that has been withdrawn from our accounts as alleged and we are ready to go to court to sue those defaming us,” he said.

On the pressure to hold party elections, he welcomed ongoing talks on the party’s future saying he and his officials are not afraid of elections. “We are ready for elections if called anytime and we do not fear those speaking loudest in the streets,” Sakaja said.

Sakaja said that they were legally in office and will not succumb to the clamour to vacate office until their term expires in 2017 as per the party’s constitution.
“I am the secretary general of the party, the custodian of the party documents, the accounting officer and the spokesman of the party. Take it from me that there will be no election and we will not accept coups and counter coups,” vowed Oloo.

Another contentious issue in the party is whether Oloo and Sakaja qualify to hold the positions they hold. Those opposed to their leadership say that they are now state officers with Sakaja being an MP and Onyango having been appointed as chairman of Lake Basin Development Authority.

 Party sources say the two are now in office illegally and should quit before they are forced out of the party leadership.
But it is not only the national office that is facing rebellion from party MPs. A number of branch officials are also facing the same rebellion from party supporters who are now demanding for fresh elections.

The most troubled branch is the Nairobi where Oloo’s name has featured prominently for supporting the ouster of the county chairman John Njoroge. Oloo is said to be fronting one Sanctus Ndegwa to take over.  Ndegwa’s team is said to be enjoying the backing of Oloo and majority of Nairobi MPs.

Oloo and Njoroge, according to our sources, were close friends but differed immediately after the general elections when Njoroge went to court to block Oloo’s nominee to the county assembly. The court case also had the backing of Sakaja who was not in good books with Oloo following a controversial nomination list Oloo allegedly approved and signed without the blessings of Sakaja.

Oloo in a quick rejoinder called for a crisis meeting to solve the Nairobi leadership row but what Njoroge and his camp did not know was that Oloo was in a revenge mission. Before the meeting began, Oloo confiscated all the Nairobi branch files and documents. He instead approved a coup that sent Njoroge packing but only to be rejected by the party’s national oversight board.

As pressure continues to pile for fresh party polls, party members are also heaping blame  on the party leadership over poor performance during by-elections. They claim the party national officials have not been supportive to the party candidates during by-elections. Most affected are candidates for civic by-elections.

What is now worrying Oloo and Sakaja is that President Uhuru Kenyatta has not come out to defend them, something that has bothered the two officials taking into consideration the fact that majority of the MPs opposed to their leadership are from Uhuru’s political backyard of Central Kenya.

We have since gathered that lobbying for TNA’s top party positions has begun in earnest with several names being floated. What has come out clearly is that both Onyango and Sakaja cannot win back the seats they occupy since there have been secret calls to have party officials come from regions that are loyal to the party and from regions that voted for Uhuru in the last general elections.

Oloo comes from Kisumu county where ODM is the predominant party. There are those who have been whispering that they cannot have an ODM sympathiser heading their party. Although Oloo is one of the founder members of TNA, majority of TNA members strongly believe that he has one leg in TNA and another one in ODM. It is for this reason that plans are at an advanced stage to have him kicked out and replaced by somebody from Central province.

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