Days after his defeat to Kiraitu Murungi in the race to defend his Meru governor seat, Peter Munya has suffered another blow after the Registrar of Political Parties gazetted former President Mwai Kibaki as the Party of National Unity (PNU) leader.
Munya has been claiming to be the party leader of the former ruling party since the exit of President Mwai Kibaki from the political stage in 2013.
However, in a gazette notice dated August 16 and published on Friday, the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u listed the former Head of State as the leader of PNU and also replaced names of seven other officials elected alongside Munya last year.
The Registrar said that the change of PNU leadership was as a result of a ruling by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal delivered on June 20, 2017, which indicated that “the officials of the interested party in office as at 27th October, 2016 remain the bona fide office bearers of the interested party until a proper general meeting is held to elect national officials".
The gazette notice listed John Kamama (Chairman), Irene Muronji (1st Vice chairperson), Paul Amayo (2nd Vice chairperson), John Anunda (Secretary General), Alphonse Musyoki (Organising Secretary), Mwajuma Rajab (Secretary, Finance), Genery Wando (Deputy Treasurer), Anna Chebet (Director of Elections), Prisca Mwita (National Women Chairperson), Beatrice Cherono (National Youth Chairperson) and Agnes Toya (NEC member) as the bonafide PNU party leaders.
“Any person with written submissions concerning the intended changes by the political party shall within seven days deposit them with the Registrar of Political Parties,” the notice reads.
Munya was elected as the party's leader in October 2016 in a National Delegates Conference that was resisted by a section of officials.
Munya and other new officials that included Secretary General John Okemwa, Paul Rukaria (Deputy Secretary General), National vice chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao, National vice chairman-operations David Kamau, National Treasurer Peter Kaberia, Deputy National Treasurer Anastacia Munyendo and National organising Secretary Stephen Koskei were gazetted six months after the elections after they moved to court and obtained orders compelling the Registrar of Political Parties to gazette them.
In June, after the ruling ousted Munya and other officials as the duly elected PNU leaders, Munya accused the Political Parties’ Dispute Tribunal of political witch hunt and asked the Judicial Service Commission to investigate it.
“I am the PNU party leader and its only party members, who can remove me; not political machinations instigated by Jubilee,” Munya remarked.
The tribunal ordered PNU officials to vacate office within seven days, but Munya obtained a court order blocking their removal from office.