A shortage of smart membership cards has hit Jubilee after the party sold all the seven million cards it had procured since the recruitment started in January.
Jubilee Secretariat Chairman Raphael Tuju said the party had ordered extra 2.5 million cards and were expected in the country on March 23.
Each card costs Sh20, meaning the party has already cashed in Sh140 million and is intending to mint an additional Sh50 million, if it sells all the extra cards to its supporters.
Aspirants have been flocking the party headquarters at Pangani in Nairobi and many have been leaving disappointed after failing to get the cards.
“We ran out of the smart cards due to high demand," Mr Tuju told the Nation on Thursday evening.
"The cards are selling like hot cakes but we have placed an order and by March 23 we will have more cards for our members."
He said the party was in the process of forming nine-member election boards in all counties to be in charge of nominations, slated for next month.
He downplayed fears by some aspirants that the primaries will be marred by irregularities.
“The fears are unfounded. We have politicians who believe an exercise is fair only when they win but when they lose it is unfair and not free. We guarantee our candidates that the party primaries will be fair,” said Mr Tuju.
“The board will be in charge and not the interim officials. The officials were for presidential campaign and mobilisation of new voters during the recent registration,” he added.
He revealed that there were wealthy politicians attempting to compromise the party officials to get direct tickets.
“There are politicians who want to compromise the process and are making financial advances but we have rejected," he said.
The party, according to Mr Tuju, has established a national tribunal to handle complaints that may arise from the primaries.
He confirmed that there were aspirants peddling lies and intimidating their rivals that they are close to the presidency and would secure direct tickets.
"We want to ensure we get what the people want,” he said.
Mr Tuju further said the party had forwarded its nomination rules to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the Sunday deadline.
His sentiments come as a section of Nyeri politicians hinted at ditching the party over fears over the impeding nominations.
Others have opposed use of the smart cards in the exercise, saying it would be better if identity cards and voter cards were used.
Senator aspirant and former Mathira MP Ephrain Maina said decamping from the party is imminent if the primaries will be shambolic.
Mr Maina warned that if party officials mismanage the primaries, the president’s party will be faced with stiff rivalry from smaller parties which have declared support for his re-election.
“We want to use of the voters’ register instead of the smart cards. The party should take care because in case of favouritism, locals will decamp and support other parties,” Mr Maina said.
Parties such as the Party of National Unity, Democratic Party, Narc-Kenya and Maendeleo Chap Chap have opened offices in Jubilee strongholds and vowed to field candidates in all elective seats except president.
Tetu MP aspirant Peter Kamuthu also called on the party to conduct the nominations using voters’ register and identity cards instead of the smart cards.
Mr Kamuthu said there were problems with accessing the cards and thus only few party members will participate in the primaries.
“Many supporters mostly the aged have problems in their transactions and so it is better they allow IDs to vote and then IEBC provide the voter’s register. This is the only way which will ensure free and fair nominations,” noted the aspirant.
He said if the nominations are marred by irregularities, the party should expect fall-out.
- President Kenyatta (right) and his Deputy William Ruto display the Jubilee Party membership cards at Kasarani, Nairobi, on January 13, 2017. The cards have sold out.