What you need to know:
- Although he is the second in command in the party hierarchy after President Uhuru Kenyatta, he cuts an image of a cornered politician.
- Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe told off the DP against confronting the president regarding the changes.
Deputy President William Ruto is walking a tightrope in Jubilee Party, and his future looks bleak.
Although he is the second in command in the party hierarchy after President Uhuru Kenyatta, he cuts an image of a cornered politician.
His current battle started with the gazettement of proposed names to the party’s National Management Committee (NMC) at the weekend, which he dismissed as “illegal and fraudulent”.
Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju, however, defended the names, saying, they were sanctioned by the party leader, who is Mr Ruto’s boss.
On Sunday, the DP vehemently denied any involvement of President Kenyatta in the proposed changes.
“The president and party leader of JP did not and cannot be party to any fraudulent and illegal changes to officials of our party. This is the work of political rejects, con men and fraudsters who’s party allegiance is already elsewhere. They should give us a break and leave JP alone,” the deputy president tweeted.
But in a quick rejoinder, Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe told off the DP against confronting the president regarding the changes and asked him to either shape up or ship out.
“My concern is how the deputy party leader can go and prosecute matters of the party — internal party affairs on social media. This is the same person who told us he talks with the president on daily,” said Mr Murathe.
“So, what informed his decision to go and prosecute party matters on social media? Unless Tuju is a mad man, he cannot purport to make those changes without reference to the party leader. When the DP terms as fraudsters those making the changes, is he suggesting that the party leader is a fraudster?” he posed.
Mr Murathe hinted at the possibility of the president working with Nasa and Kanu leaders.
“They have got to a point (Ruto camp) where they either walk out or we leave it (the party) to them. We can go to form a coalition with Raila (Odinga), Kalonzo (Musyoka), Musalia (Mudavadi) and Gideon Moi,” he said.
FACE OF IMPUNITY
When Mr Kenyatta was embroiled in a fight for the control of Kanu with former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott, he opted to quit and form The National Alliance (TNA), said Mr Murathe.
“When Uhuru was having a fight with Biwott over Kanu leadership, we were telling him not to leave Kanu because it was his father’s party. But he left and formed TNA, which became the largest party in Parliament in 2013, with Kanu managing three MPs. Let them decide what they want. They cannot call the party leader a fraudster,” he said.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, an ally of the DP, termed Mr Murathe as “the face of impunity”.
“I stopped listening to Murathe a long time ago. He is the face of impunity that the new Constitution sought to cure. He represents arrogance that has no space in modern Kenya,” Mr Barasa told the Nation on Sunday.
“If he doesn’t know how the Jubilee Constitution works with regard to changing leadership, he should seek interpretation from qualified people.”
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei dismissed Mr Murathe as “a political reject”.
“Political losers, rejects, brokers and fraudsters have no space in Jubilee. This is a national party, not a private entity or a personal kiosk. It believes in involvement of all members,” he said.
With these fights, accusations and counter accusations, it’s only a matter of time before the party erupts.
“The president is in charge of the party and all the proposals in change of leadership have been sanctioned by him,” Mr Tuju maintained.
“The terms of interim officials have been extended under an interim clause pending elections and whoever is serving is doing so in the pleasure of the President who is our party leader.”
ODM Party also waded into the Jubilee wars with National Treasurer Timothy Bosire expressing his displeasure at the manner in which the deputy president “is handling their differences on social media as the country battles Covid-19”.
“Leaders should focus on our common enemy: Covid-19. Let’s abandon politics and deal with this deadly disease,” he said.