New Ford Kenya threatens to quit Jubilee merger

President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto with party leaders during the official announcement of the formation of Jubilee party at State House. [Photo/PSCU]

The New Ford Kenya party has threatened to quit Jubilee, barely a month after it agreed to dissolve in favour of the newly formed political outfit.

Speaking on Thursday, New Ford Kenya Bungoma chairman, Martin Nyongesa, said that their condition for joining Jubilee was to be given one of the top party positions.

He said that if Jubilee does not adhere to their demand, they would rescind their earlier decision to join it and instead enter the elections as an individual party.

Nyongesa added that allocating the top slots only to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA and Deputy President William Ruto’s URP will not augur well with other parties that are preparing to wind up and join Jubilee Party.

He said that pending issues must be resolved as soon as possible to pave way for a seamless launch to the party on September 9.

The party chair said that according to the agreed-on deal, the position of Jubilee Party Chair and Secretary General should go to either New Ford Kenya or Alliance Party of Kenya saying this would help them sell the party in Western region.

There has been malaise within Jubilee Party on the allocation of party positions with all major parties demanding slots in the party hierarchy.

Reports indicate that former Energy Cabinet Secretary Davies Chirchir of DP William Ruto’s URP is being floated to take up the Executive Director position with the Secretary General of President Kenyatta’s party TNA, Onyango Oloo, gunning for the same position.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) board chair Lee Kinyanjui will reportedly occupy a special oversight slot.

Jubilee Steering Committee, chaired by Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and former Minister Noah Wekesa have recommended a criteria of filling the positions based on party strength, regional balance and gender balance.

Some of the parties that have agreed to dissolve and join Jubilee are President Uhuru’s TNA, Ruto’s URP, APK, New Ford Kenya, Tip Tip, GNU and Ford People.

Uncertainty still looms over whether the Party of National Unity (PNU) will join Jubilee as party chair, John Kamama, and Secretary General, John Okwemwa, differ on the way forward.

While Kamama supports a dissolution of the parties in favour of Jubilee, Okwemwa has insisted that PNU will run as an individual party in the 2017 elections.

Additional reporting by @benjaminwafula

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