The push to remove top secretariat officials in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party seems to be far from over, even after a meeting last week agreed to shelve the plan.
Though a National Management Committee (NMC) meeting last week decided to end the infighting, some leaders are adamant to see the party’s secretariat, led by Nelson Dzuya (chairman), David Murathe (vice-chair) and Raphael Tuju (secretary-general), out.
The three have been accused of mismanaging the party, saying they had caused recent humiliating defeats for an outfit that used to brag about huge support across the country.
The defeats came at the hands of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which is linked to Deputy President William Ruto, who is seen as a rebel in his own Jubilee government.
Change Jubilee leadership
Kieni MP Kanini Kega Wednesday told the Nation that starting this week, elected leaders will be in their constituencies helping to change Jubilee leadership to ensure that they get individuals who are fully behind President Kenyatta.
“From this week, we will be revamping our offices in all our constituencies. We are not joking in any way. We are revamping the party from the top to the bottom,” he said.
“We are cleaning at the top and also at the bottom. There are officials who have retired. Others have gone elsewhere and we have to get their replacements.”
In their revitalisation roadmap, Mr Kega says that there will be little activity in DP Ruto’s political bastion of the Rift Valley, due to the presence of UDA.
“We will put more emphasis on the Central region. In Rift Valley, we are not very keen, because there is Kanu and also UDA. UDA is more of a Rift Valley party,” he said.
Kiambu MP Jude Njomo, another ally of President Kenyatta, insisted that for the party to reconnect with more of its supporters, certain leaders whom he did not mention must be replaced.
“We must now correct the wrongs that have been done so that the party can be loved by the people. People love the party but there are some people in the party that must relinquish their positions,” Mr Njomo told the Nation.
Last weekend, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that with the losses the party has suffered, the secretariat needs to resign.
He said there was a serious leadership crisis in the ruling party that he said they will not entertain anymore.
“We are the ones with a stake in the party. Tuju and his colleagues are not going for any election, it is us. If Jubilee loses, they can move on to another party. So, we will not watch a party that we formed be compromised,” Governor Kinyanjui said.
The county chief went ahead: “If they loved their party, they would have resigned by now. There is serious leadership. Jubilee is greater than those two leaders. This is not personal but about outcomes.”
This comes after Mr Tuju last week said he was not worried about recent calls for him to be removed, arguing that some of those who had wished him to leave a few years ago were the ones who left.
He disclosed that some of the people who were pushing for his removal were Tangatanga agents linked to DP Ruto.
“Some of the people who wanted me to leave before stormed the party headquarters, then they left and formed UDA. Those who said I should leave, they left before me. Some of those who are now saying that I should leave are having drinks with UDA guys at night and we know,” Mr Tuju said.
The poll results leave President Kenyatta in a precarious position as he crafts his succession.
A number of MPs in the ruling party loyal to the President blame the secretariat for the poor show in Juja and Kiambaa constituencies and are now pushing for a total overhaul of the secretariat.
Mr Kega, who led the campaigns in Kiambaa, had set the stage for the clash when he said that all officials, except four, should quit their positions.
“If you are a Jubilee national official and your name isn’t in the list below, kindly submit your letter of resignation immediately before we physically eject you from the headquarters,” wrote Mr Kega on his Facebook page recently.
“The four we want to remain are the Party Leader, Deputy Secretary General Joshua Kutuny, acting Executive Director Wambui Gichuru and the director of communication Albert Memusi. The rest pack and go.”
To continue with the spirit of consultation, Eldas MP Adan Keynan, who is also the secretary of the Jubilee Coalition Joint Parliamentary Group, says the party will hold a retreat with leaders backing Mr Kenyatta and leave out those in Tangatanga allied to DP Ruto and had come out openly to drum up support for UDA.
“We are planning a major retreat to bring together all the party decision-makers who are supporting the President,” he said.
Deputy secretary-general Joshua Kutuny, who is also Cherang’any MP, says they must have a retreat with members of the ruling party to decide how to move the party forward, noting that reforms should be completed by October.
Listen to concerns
“Definitely, we have to listen to the concerns being raised by party members. In terms of reforms, we should be done by October because the party has very huge potential,” he said.
“The next phase now is to sort out our internal problems and reform the party and every member is calling for reforms.”
The party will invite its senators, governors, MPs and leaders of county assemblies to a two-day retreat to chart a way forward after being shaken by the increasing popularity of UDA, which is eating into Jubilee’s support base.
“We must now meet the expectations of the members, including officials of the party at the constituency and county levels. In the retreat, the resolution of members is going to be paramount. The party belongs to them. They will direct us on what to do next,” said Mr Kutuny in an interview.