Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has been dealt a blow after a petitioner moved to court challenging his role in Party of National Unity (PNU) affairs.
Leadership dispute within PNU has resulted in a legal battle. Although HE (Munya) is not a PNU official, he has been named in the judicial proceedings for allegedly having a hand in the ejection of six PNU officials on February 24 during a National Delegates Conference (NDC) at the Bomas of Kenya.
The case was certified as urgent by the Political Party Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) chair Desma Nungo in an order dated March 7, 2022, and was scheduled for ex-parte hearing later this week.
The suit, filed by PNU secretary-general John Okemwa and chair David Kamau, calls on Munya as the third respondent on the list.
In addition to ejecting the six officials via a resolution proposed by Munya, the NDC also passed a resolution urging PNU to join the Azimio La Umoja movement.
The case was rescheduled for hearing on April 4 after PNU’s lawyer, Frank Walukhwe, challenged the PPDT’s jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.
PNU is listed as the fourth respondent as an institution.
The petitioner, Kevin Kariuki, claims he was elected deputy secretary-general on May 24, 2019, and requests that the tribunal issues a temporary injunction preventing his removal from office until the dispute is resolved.
Other PNU officials who are upset include the organising secretary, Martin Mitwee, the treasurer, Alfonce Musyoka, the director of elections, Dominic Kariuki and Irene Muronji, chair of the Women’s Caucus.
Given that the ejected officials are perceived to be loyal to Muriithi, the dispute is seen as an extension of the supremacy battles between Munya and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
The governor’s faction holds sway in the NEC, and the CS’s move, if not implemented, will “dilute” Muriithi’s influence and hold on the party, on whose ticket retired President Mwai Kibaki was elected in 2007.
The development is likely to distract and divert the energies of PNU party officials away from the campaigns.
Munya and Muriithi, who chairs Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign board, are both important players in Raila’s presidential campaign and have been mentioned separately as possible running mates for the former Prime Minister.