President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party yesterday failed to agree on the way forward on a dispute filed by Deputy President William Ruto-linked United Democratic Alliance (UDA) challenging the ruling party’s plan to revoke a coalition agreement.
Jubilee’s National Management Committee (NMC) met on Monday to deliberate on a decision by UDA to seek arbitration on the dispute but failed to agree on the next course of action, prompting the planning of another meeting today.
Iron out issues
UDA, formerly Party of Development and Reforms (PDR), has declared a dispute in Jubilee’s move to sever ties with the rebranded outfit. UDA wants teams from both parties selected to iron out issues, a process it said was demanded by the two parties’ coalition agreement. “Yes we met as members of NMC but at this point I have not been authorised to talk about it yet because we are still having another meeting tomorrow (today) then we give a brief,” Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju told the Nation on Monday.
UDA had protested the move by the ruling party to cut ties with it by revoking the agreement, prompting Jubilee’s NMC to convene a meeting to discuss the matter and make a decision on whether to continue pushing for the divorce or continue accommodating the “renegades.”
Monday’s NMC meeting, the Nation established, was also attended by Jubilee’s legal team as they sought to go through the Jubilee-PDR agreement before advising the ruling party on how to handle the situation.
“Our legal team met, studied the coalition documents and will advise the NMC on how to handle the matter and thereafter we shall make a decision as a party,” Jubilee Deputy Secretary-General Joshua Kuttuny said.
The Cherang’any MP, however, pointed out that the UDA team cannot be trusted “as they have already gone ahead to work on their philosophy and their agenda for 2022.”
“It’s a clear indication of undermining the coalition leadership and I see them as enemies that we don’t really have to engage.” He questioned why the DP’s brigade was still working on stopping the divorce when they have made a decision to chart their own way and even opened parallel offices.
“If it’s a strong party, why do they want to stick with us? I thought they are prepared for 2022. I thought they have put all their acts and machinery together and are ready to move on their own,” he said.
He termed as an act of desperation the move by UDA to stick to the marriage, which they have termed as “abusive”, citing the DP’s assertion in the past that Jubilee had been hijacked by conmen who have derailed the party’s agenda.
But Belgut MP Nelson Koech insisted that UDA is just a transformed PDR which legally belongs to Jubilee coalition. “First I am Jubilee, not a member of PDP. But speaking for UDA, there exist mechanism before you part ways.”
The Jubilee-PDR agreement requires that until the dispute mechanism is exhausted, the deal remains in force.