Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and a Jubilee official in the county have indicated they will sever links with the party.
In what signals a revolt against President Uhuru Kenyatta by some Mt Kenya leaders, Mr Murungi and Jubilee Meru Branch Secretary-General Alhaji Mwendia cited betrayal, lack of financial accountability and side-lining of regions viewed as pro-Deputy President William Ruto for the decision.
According to the county boss, Jubilee Party was founded on the vision of a united nation but the dream collapsed along the way.
“As things are now, the Deputy President is on his own with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, and the President is about to retire. Since I am not retiring, I need a horse to take part in the horse race,” Mr Murungi said.
Form another party
Mr Mwendia called on Governor Murungi to form another party.
His sentiments came a day after Mr Murungi reiterated that the Jubilee Party, which he helped found, had lived beyond its shelf life.
Mr Mwendia, a loyal henchman in Governor Murungi’s administration, also declared the Central Kenya Caucus of Jubilee Party Executives disbanded. He has been chairing the caucus that is aimed at advancing the interests of the region.
“I am waiting for a signal from you to disband the Jubilee Party in Meru,” Mr Mwendia told the governor.
He added, “We cannot continue supporting a party that continues serving partisan interests in the region. If the party members are summoned for a meeting even at midnight, come for the disbandment of the Jubilee Party in Meru.”
“I am the chairman of the Central Kenya Caucus of Jubilee Party Executives and I declare the caucus dead. If we are to meet again, we will not meet under the auspices of the Jubilee Party.”
Mr Mwendia told the Nation that trouble started immediately after the 2017 elections, when the Jubilee Party leadership began giving nomination slots based on whether a county was allied to the President or the Deputy President.
“The side-lining of the Deputy President that you are seeing now began a long time ago. As a result, the nominated MCAs under the Jubilee Party in Meru were not proposed by Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Senator Mithika Linturi.”
“This is why we have many outsiders nominated to the Meru County Assembly. We were viewed as pro-Ruto and there was a need to neutralise the counties that leaned towards the Deputy President,” he explained.
According to Mr Mwendia, Jubilee Party has been overrun by cartels that thwarted efforts to have Governor Murungi as chairman of the ruling party.
DP Ruto has also claimed that Jubilee Party has been captured by a few individuals.
“They deliberately set aside the talks on who was to be party chairman because Kiraitu was preferred for the position. It is just recently that I learnt that Nelson Dzuya is the party chairman,” the party official claimed.
Mr Mwendia says the Jubilee Party secretariat has never paid for the outfit’s offices in Meru yet, he “discovered there were receipts indicating rent was being paid for an office in Meru town”.
His claims on lack of financial accountability mirror those made by former party deputy secretary-general Caleb Kositany.
Mr Kositany, an ally of Dr Ruto, was removed from the party leadership after he demanded Jubilee’s four-year financial records from Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.
“Jubilee Party has become a money-minting business for a few. All offices should be getting money for operations but I have been running the Meru office from my pocket. This is the reason I am very bitter. I have lost count of the money I have spent on the party’s affairs,” Mr Mwendia said.
Earlier, the Meru governor said he had never vied on the same political party twice for the six elections he has participated in and 2022 would be no exception.
“Mt Kenya region does not have a party because people have never owned Jubilee…What we need is a party owned by our people. This is the debate we are having now,” Mr Murungi said.
In what appears to be gravitation towards Dr Ruto’s Hustler Nation, Governor Murungi on Sunday said he would ensure the 2021/2022 budget gives more money to the ‘hustlers’.
“Due to the impact of Covid-19, we want a budget that will support the small business people and uplift the vulnerable groups,” he said.
Mr Murungi directed his deputy, Mr Titus Ntuchiu, who is also the finance executive, to ensure more money goes to the youth.
“If we want to uplift Meru, we must take care of those at the bottom,” he said.
Meru County Assembly Majority Leader Victor Karithi, a member of Jubilee Party, also said their days in the ruling party are numbered.
“We have realised that Jubilee is far from a national party that can stand the test of time. Therefore, we want to have our party so that we are not left out in national politics. We have engaged the high gear and by October, we will have a political party that centres around this region,” Mr Karithi said.