Senior officials in PNU have hatched an elaborate plan to remove Transport Minister Amos Kimunya as the party’s Secretary General. Kimunya has fallen out with a section of key PNU bigwigs who accuse him of arrogance among other things. “You can take this to the bank. Kimunya must go. This man is a snob and a lone ranger. He thinks he is the only educated man in the world,” said a source within the party.
The plot is said to be so watertight it is a matter of time before Kimunya is eased out as the party’s big seat. The scheme will be executed probably next week when a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting is convened to ratify a decision by the party’s management committee to appoint Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchella as the acting chairman.
Ironically, it is Kimunya as the SG who will have to convene the meeting that may have him removed. But yesterday Konchella and former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda downplayed the coup plot. They admitted that PNU, just like any other political party, has “internal issues which will be sorted out soon.”
“Our interest is to bring all people together as we go to elections,” said Konchella at the party’s headquarters on Waiyaki Way. “If anybody is not satisfied with anything, there is a procedure, there is an opportunity to call for a meeting and have it addressed in the right way. Right now, we are not locking anyone out. In fact, this is the time we want everybody to be part of the party,” said Kamanda, the PNU organising secretary.
The two explained that the party was intact and strong despite the death on June 10 of former chairman and internal security minister George Saitoti. They defended last weekend’s meeting by the party’s management committee where Konchella was appointed as the acting chairman to replace Saitoti.
They said the meeting was properly convened by the party’s SG and said they were not sure why he, among other top officials failed to turn up. “There was a quorum, and honourable Kimunya was involved all through so there is nothing really to say there is a rivalry,” said Konchella. The acting chairman said a NEC meeting will have the power to confirm him as the party’s chairman or settle on someone else adding that he will gladly hand over the position to any other person if the executive committee decides.
Kimunya was not available for comment. Calls to his mobile line went unanswered. But even as Konchella and Kamanda tried to paper over the cracks, reliable sources within the party maintained that the plot to kick out Kimunya was on.
Sources intimated some officials were unhappy with his management style. The sources further said that some members were unhappy with how the Transport ministry, which Kimunya heads, has handled issues touching on the investigations into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed Saitoti, his assistant Orwa Ojode, two pilots and two police officers. In Parliament last week, MPs accused the government of frustrating the investigations.
But Kimunya vigorously defended the government’s position on the investigations saying all was being done to ensure the truth is finally known. But Konchella yesterday said PNU will not mix the investigations with party politics. He said party members will accord the commission of inquiry set up to probe the crash any support it may require.
Source: The Star
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