Jubilee, ODM coalition talks renew plans to eject Ruto from party post

William Ruto

DP William Ruto during a past event.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Jubilee deputy secretary general Joshua Kutuny says given the recent attacks on the party by DP, it is set to replace him.
  • The party is planning for a two-day retreat with its senators, governors, MPs and leadership of county assemblies after the Kiambaa by-election.

The ongoing coalition talks between the ruling party and the opposition’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have added impetus to the bid to remove Deputy President William Ruto as Jubilee’s deputy party leader.

Jubilee Party officials allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta say the DP’s tenure is increasingly becoming untenable given that the deputy party leader’s post is critical to coalition negotiations. 

The party’s technical team will meet on Friday to review plans to revamp the party, suggesting renewed urgency to clean up the divided house, with officials saying the plot to kick out Dr Ruto has a November deadline.

Jubilee deputy secretary general Joshua Kutuny said the deputy party leader’s post will play an active role in negotiation with other parties ahead of next year’s polls, which makes it illogical to leave the position in the hands of “an enemy”.

Mr Kutuny, who is also Cherang’any MP, told the Nation that, given the recent attacks on the party by the deputy President, it is set to replace him.

“We are going to have a meeting this Friday as the party’s technical team. This will give us the way forward on areas we need to focus on,” said Mr Kutuny.

Uhuru-Ruto fallout

“We have a clear strategy that will shock many people when the right time comes. The President has an elaborate plan that will completely destabilise any opposition that will be facing his team,” Mr Kutuny claimed.

The party is also planning for a two-day retreat with its senators, governors, MPs and leadership of county assemblies after the Kiambaa by-election.

“The party is going to have new officials now that some officials parted ways with us,” Mr Kutuny said in reference to Jubilee MPs in Mt Kenya who are in Dr Ruto’s camp.

“We are going to appoint interim officials in Kandara, Mathira, Kikuyu and Kiharu, and Mombasa County. We are just waiting for further guidelines from the National Executive Committee.”

“We are going to refurbish offices in 25 counties including Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa,” said Mr Kutuny.

Jubilee last month launched talks with Mr Raila Odinga’s ODM to transform the Uhuru-Raila March 2018 truce into a coalition agreement. The DP has described the plans as “tragic”, saying members were not consulted.

Following the fallout between the Head of State and his deputy, the ruling party which has been bragging of a huge support base across the country, now seems to be limping as proved by the recent string of losses in by-elections won by the DP and his allies.

Badly damaged

Dr Ruto, whose relationship with his boss continues to deteriorate, has indicated that he had given up on the party. He has told those who are out to build coalitions to proceed as he has his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

In an apparent attack on Secretary General Raphael Tuju and vice-chairman David Murathe, Dr Ruto said a few people in the party were hell-bent on ruling by decree.

“Jubilee Party is badly damaged. We have never had a party retreat or Parliamentary Group meeting. There has not been any constructive engagement. A party is built on trust. You must work with people,” he said.

And Soy MP Caleb Kositany, the DP’s de-facto spokesperson, accused party bosses of running a dictatorship: “The only active organ is the disciplinary committee whose members act on instructions from elsewhere.” 

Keiyo South Daniel Rono said: “Removal of Ruto as deputy party leader is inconsequential because we are set for a mass exodus anytime from now.”

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said the DP would not challenge his ouster: “We will not contest the decision because they have compromised every constitutional organ. This includes the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal and the courts. Jubilee is operating with impunity and against every law of the land,” said Mr Koech.