By Isaac Ongiri and Patrick Lang’at
President Uhuru Kenyatta will today launch Jubilee Party’s national registration of members targeting more than five million in all the 47 counties.
More than 16,000 aspirants seeking election on the party’s ticket are expected to attend the launch at the Kasarani gymnasium in Nairobi.
“Notice is hereby given that the Jubilee Party will hold a National Delegates Meeting at Kasarani Stadium on Friday, January 13, 2017,” reads a notice circulated by President Kenyatta’s Campaign Secretariat head Raphael Tuju.
The President will also introduce the party’s registration smart cards which will be sold to members at Sh20 each.
The card is tied to an application that recognises one’s identity and sends a notification to the holder’s phone once registration is activated.
The meeting comes just two days after opposition leaders met in Nairobi for a similar meeting where an alliance against the Jubilee Party was fronted.
Other than the registration of members, the President and the aspirants will also discuss how to rally ID holders in Jubilee strongholds to register as voters from next week.
Party aspirants will be expected to take charge of the drive to net as many people as possible, though some have complained that the party is trying to hand over responsibility of registering members to them.
“We know it is the responsibility of the party to register people. We do not want anyone to speculate in this matter,” Mr Tuju said.
He said the party was in the process of setting up a National Elections Board, which will be inaugurated later by President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
“We are already working on proposed names from where we will pick a team that will be in charge of our elections board. Once we do that we will forward the names to the President for formal appointment,” he said.
The Sh20 card has a unique bar code that the Jubilee team says will make it impossible for anyone to vote twice in the primaries.
Mr Tuju said the card would ensure the nominations are conducted fairly without cases of ballot stuffing, one member controlling a polling station and bias towards incumbent officials.
“It will be impossible for one to vote twice as Jubilee goes smart in this election. No person without this card will be allowed to participate in our nominations,” Mr Tuju said.
On Thursday, when the Nation visited the venue at 11am, top entertainment firm HomeBoyz was setting up the sound equipment.
Mr Albert Memusi, a director at the party’s campaign communication team, said the party would build an administrator application to manage the cards.
“We will monitor when and where you register and we will ask you to activate it as soon as possible. That way, we do not expect people to run around activating them during the nomination day,” he said.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have asked those who lose in the primaries not to leave the party, saying they will be given government jobs if Jubilee is re-elected in the August polls.
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, MPs Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Johnson Sakaja (Nominated), former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru are all battling for the party ticket to unseat Governor Evans Kidero of Cord.
“I want you to come up with candidates, even through consensus, where you amicably agree and share the various seats in Nairobi County and which must reflect the wishes of all the communities in the city,” Mr Ruto urged the aspirants.