Rotten eggs, furniture and stones were hurled and Jubilee party wannabe officials roughed up early today as a group of youth moved in to stop an emerging rival group from taking over the Nakuru County party’s head office.
As the drama played out…
It’s now apparent that a supramacy battle between two factions has emerged, with their differences being played out in a dramatic scenario that unfolded this afternoon.
A week after a team allied to Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria wa Wairimu and ex area MP David Manyara Njuki plus former Mayor John Kitilit raided and took over the running of the former TNA Nakuru County Headquarters, another team tried to regain its control over it today.
No serious injuries were however reported although a witness said the youth were led by one Joe Kiarie.
In what can be regarded as a counter-coup following the Milimani TNA office takeover by the Gikaria axis last Saturday, Naivasha politician James Waiganjo Karimi, today drove convoy into the premises where he’d convened a meeting.
Scenes of the saga started unfolding this last week when, in an apparent defiance of the Gikaria takeover, Karimi announced that he’ll today launch the party at the same premises.
Initial reports suggested that the party’s head office was branding a number of swanky fuel guzzlers at its Nairobi Pangani Headquarters ” in readiness for the Nakuru event”.
Investigations by our team however established that there was no such plans being laid out at Pangani which houses among others, the Team Uhuru presidential campaign team.
We learnt that since the party’s colourful launch several weeks ago, the Pangani offices have been locked up pending an announcement of which personalities will head the party’s seats, organs and newfound structures.
Nevertheless, the team headed by Karimi and reportedly backed by Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua plus MPs Samuel Arama of Nakuru Town West and Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri of Bahati, wasn’t deterred in it’s today’s quest.
Team Karimi converged in the morning at a petrol station in Freearea township and drove to the Milimani offices which were last Saturday taken over by Team Gikaria in the presence of Manyara, Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Susan Wakarura Kihika and MPs Ndiritu Mathenge of Gilgil, Milo’s Joseph Kiuna and Nelson Gaichuhie of Subukia.
Today, Karimi and Co, mostly party supporters, made a triumphant entry into the Milimani TNA premises, which each of the two rival teams plan to refurbish and repaint with the logos and colours of the nascent ruling party of Kenya.
However the celebration was short lived as a group of youth amongst those present caused a furore during which the leadership was pelted with the eggs and caused to flee while under a human shield.
The youth involved haven’t been identified yet and no one in the county leadership has expressed solidarity, with or against the rowdy youth.
Karimi, however, told the press that the “paymasters of the goons are well known personalities who hang out daily in a certain restaurant in Nakuru town”, but he did not name them.
While condemning the incident, an apparently unruffled Karimi said his mission wasn’t to takeover the party premises saying it was a fiesta he’d ignited to popularise the party and launch its membership recruitment drive around the county.
Reporter Jackson Okata who was present wrote that chaos erupted after Karimi was about to address the press when chairs, stones and eggs started flying around the meeting.
” The youth then evicted everyone from the offices before locking it up”, said.
Karimi however said that he’ll start a mashinani drive to recruit members and popularise the UhuRuto party who’s popularity around Nakuru has been allegedly fading due inactivity by local leaders.
He tore into his rivals, accusing them of infighting instead of fighting the opposition “which is our real enemy” adding that while most Nakuru residents love President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, a section of leaders were keen on hijacking local leadership at the expense of tarnishing the party’s image.
Gikaria was unavailable for comment as he’s out of the country while others we called were unreachable by the time of going to press.
The office manager, Rachael Mwatha was also reportedly locked up in the offices this evening with the gates locked.
Her phone too, went unanswered.