Gusii quest for Matiang’i rise in Jubilee on despite setback

Fred Matiang’i

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Jubilee Party was expected to eject the DP from his position during its National Delegates Convention (NDC).
  • The DP has had an axe to grind with Dr Matiang’i, whom he has accused of taking over his roles.

The postponement of a Jubilee Party meeting that was meant to ratify a decision to eject Deputy President William Ruto as deputy party leader has dealt a blow to plans by Gusii leaders to push for the installation of Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in the DP’s stead.

Nevertheless, Dr Matiang’i’s allies in Gusiiland have vowed to push on with their quest to have their man at the top, hinting at an imminent meeting with their party leader, President Kenyatta, to argue their case, soon.

Jubilee Party was expected to eject the DP from his position during its National Delegates Convention (NDC) that was scheduled for November 30. 

The event has now been deferred, with sources citing President Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address on that same day as the cause for the postponement.

There is no love lost between the deputy President and the CS, with the former accusing the latter of dropping the ball in his duties as the country’s security chief. The latest proposal by Gusii leaders is likely to push their rivalry to the limits.

Over the past two years, the DP has had an axe to grind with Dr Matiang’i, whom he has accused of taking over his roles as deputy President ever since his elevation to the heart of President Kenyatta’s administration.

Though efforts by the Nation to reach Dr Matiang’i for comment on the plans were futile, leaders pushing for the DP’s ouster in Jubilee, and takeover by the CS said the move would restore sanity in the ruling party. 

Gusii leaders met at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on Sunday to discuss the plans.

Transport Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure, Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi, Nyamira Woman Rep Jerusha Momanyi, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama and Jubilee Party National Advisory Council Chairman Albert Nyaundi attended the meeting. 

Mr Arama told the Nation on Tuesday that a meeting with the CS is on the cards to inform him of their resolutions.

“We want to meet Dr Matiang’i to let him know of our proposal. We’re also planning to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta, our party leader, to inform him of the same,” he said.

Mr Arama added that the Gusii community wants a bigger stake in national politics and the move to install Dr Matiang’i in the upper echelons of the ruling party is one of the ways of achieving this.

“He is all we have as a community. He has proved his worth over the years and giving him more responsibilities will do this country good,” Mr Arama said.

It, however, remains to be seen how the CS will navigate the murky world of politics given that he is a technocrat. 
Mr Angwenyi said they met in Nairobi to prepare for the NDC and they made a resolution to support Dr Matiang’i.

Ms Momanyi said the community will push the NDC to have one of their own included in the decision-making process of the ruling party.

“We’re going to request the delegates in that conference to support one of our own,” said Mr Nyaundi.

The NDC, should, and when it is eventually held, is expected to be a politically charged event that could mark the official political break-up of President Kenyatta and his deputy.

The DP is expected to be shown the door following his association with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, on whose ticket he plans to contest the presidency in next year’s election.

Speaking in Nyamira recently, the DP said he was ready to leave Jubilee and had joined hands with other leaders to form a formidable party that will form the next government.

The country’s second-in-command said UDA is his new political home.  He spoke a day after Jubilee Party said it would hold its NDC at the end of the month to punish rebels.

“I want us to unite and form the next government. We have joined hands with your leaders, some of whom were in other parties. We will all be under UDA,” he said.

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