Aukot Sued by Deputy as Money Tears Party Apart

  • Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot addresses the media in 2019
    Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot addresses the media in 2019
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  • The cracks within Thirdway Alliance Party are widening after deputy party leader, Angela Mwikali Nyalita, sued his boss Ekuru Aukot and the party demanding to know the source of funds used to popularise the second attempt to revive the Punguza Mizigo initiative.

    In a court document seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Mwikali, alongside Phelister Wakesho and Hilda Nduta - members of the National Executive Committee NEC - further accused Aukot of launching Punguza Mizigo without following the party's set down decision-making procedure.

    "Aukot's actions are unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal as he launched PM (Punguza Mizigo) without disclosing the sources of funds for the initiative. PM was never authorised by a resolution of NEC," the petitioners argue.

    Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot (Centre) with secretary-general Frederick Okango (Right) at a past press conference in 2019
    Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot (centre) with Secretary-General Frederick Okango (right) at a past press conference in 2019
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    On the source of the funding, the petitioners were worried that they would be exposed to criminal charges in the event that sources of the funding were illegal.

    "Unless restrained by the court, Aukot is going to continue exposing the petitioners to injury and violations that can never be compensated by damages," the suit papers state. 

    The office of the registrar of political parties was also mentioned as a respondent,  sued in the capacity of its key roles stipulated as regulating, monitoring and investigating political parties.

    Another key reason stated in the court papers was that the party members did not wish to be involved in the revival of the defunct bill that was speculated to have been an attempt by Ekuru to merge Punguza Mizigo with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), that he argued adopted a number of recommendations from Punguza Mizigo.

    In a meeting held by Aukot and NEC on January 24, 2020, the members questioned Aukot's decision to run a parallel constitution amendment initiative to the President Uhuru Kenyatta-backed BBI.

    Aukot distanced himself from the lawsuit, insisting that he wouldn't want to be drawn into an empty and cheap talk after he was contacted for comment. 

    This latest move came days after he fell off with his Secretary-General Frederick Okango.

    On  Sunday, February 16, the duo differed on the party's apparent decision to merge PM with BBI. Aukot argued that PM did not need the support of the political class as Okango accused him of double-speak. According to the secretary-general, Aukot had reached out to Jubilee and NASA leaders to revive Punguza Mizigo.

    On November 14, 2019, Thirdway made public the funds they received from Kenyans, who supported the first initiative.

    Ekuru Aukot addresses the media on February 17, 2020
    Ekuru Aukot addresses the media on February 17, 2020
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