Moi's son takes over Kenya's oldest party from Kenyatta's sonBy OLIVER MATHENGE in Nairobi | Saturday, April 14 2012 at 16:12
The Kenya African National Union (Kanu) has kicked out its chairman Uhuru Kenyatta and replaced him with his deputy Gideon Moi on an interim capacity.
The two are the sons of Kenya's first and second presidents, respectively. They had been battling for control of the independence-era party until Mr Kenyatta shifted his sights to consolidate his Central Kenya constituency, where Kanu is unpopular.
Mr Moi will act as chairman for the next two months as the party prepares to hold fresh elections.
In the resolutions read by acting secretary-general Nick Salat during a Special National Delegates Conference in Nairobi Saturday, he was also mandated to submit Kanu's application for full registration under the country's new constitution in the coming week.
The conference also adopted a new party constitution that aims at restructuring the management of the party. The new Kanu constitution curtails the powers of the chairman and transfers most of the mandate to the secretary-general and the party organs.
Mr Kenyatta and his allies skipped the meeting after they earlier termed it as "illegal".
The meeting marked what appeared to be the end of persistent wrangles that have dogged the independence party for years.
On Thursday, Mr Kenyatta issued a statement saying that he was not interested in seeking re-election as the chairman. He also accused Mr Moi's group of stalling developments in the party including compliance with the Political Parties Act.
There was drama at the meeting when former Mungiki traditionalist sect leader Maina Njenga made his entrance. The group nearly clashed with another said to have been plotting to disrupt the meeting.
Mr Moi, however, appeared to extend an olive branch by asking Mr Kenyatta's group to reconcile with them and forge ahead.
He said that the party has registered the required members in 30 Counties across the country. He also said that the party has opened offices in most of the Counties.
The chairman's powers have been transferred to the offices of the secretary-general and the national organising secretary. The new chairman will not have the powers to order fresh elections or to appoint a committee to run the affairs of party organs where necessary.
In the new Kanu constitution, the secretary-general will head the secretariat, and convene national executive committee meetings which will have powers to convene a national degelates conference (NDC) or national governing council (NGC) meeting.
The previous constitution says such meetings can only be presided over by the chairman “unless he is prevented by illness or other sufficient cause.”
While previously the chairman had the powers to call for an NDC, this will now only be done by the national executive committee.
Mr Kenyatta's camp has accused Mr Moi's group of delaying compliance with the Political Parties Act when it moved to court last year and halted the recruitment of members.
Mr Moi inherits a shell of a party that is long past its glory days.
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