Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago is pondering his next move as the Jubilee Party made a startling announcement about dropping the use of the smart cards.
The Jubilee Party dropped its plans to use the recently launched smart cards in the upcoming party primaries after succumbing to pressure from members to stop its use following irregularities in the acquiring of cards by different members.
Just yesterday, Raphael Tuju, who heads the party’s secretariat said that the sole intention was to ensure recruitment of as many members as possible.
“I do not want to preempt exactly how the nominations will be carried out since the national elections board (NEB) will come out to make an announcement soon,” Tuju said yesterday.
This comes at a time when complaints arose that some politicians have been buying a large number of membership cards to distribute in their strongholds, in anticipation that they will get more votes in these regions during next month’s nominations.
Others were said to be storing these cards to distribute them just before the primaries.
“Those people who will not file returns on time will not participate in the nominations,” warned Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe about those hoarding the cards.
The move was opposed by most Jubilee aspirants who felt that if they are used, the nominations could be tilted in favour of those who bought many cards.
The decision comes at a time when a revelation that a top party operative has been importing and selling the smart cards.
The operative could now make huge losses if the remaining cards are not bought out once it becomes apparent they are of no use in the party primaries.
Mandago had spent Kshs 3 million on the cards in a bid to ‘buy’ as many members and subsequently sail through the nominations as the party’s preferred candidate for the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat, but this is now a thing of the past.
Similarly, members of the party complained about ‘outsiders’ having spent millions buying the cards so as to steer the nominations in their favor and place stronger candidates to win those who secure the Jubilee seats.