The Jubilee Party will not initiate an impeachment motion against Deputy President William Ruto, secretary-general Raphael Tuju has said.
The DP, who has made clear his intention to run for President in 2022, continues to read from a different political script and is openly pushing the ideas of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the party associated with him.
But Mr Tuju said President Uhuru Kenyatta is focused on what is best for the country.
The process of ousting DP Ruto, he said, would be too tedious and likely to distract President Uhuru Kenyatta from achieving his development agenda and uniting the country.
“Parliament’s impeachment procedure is very dissipative, which means are have to mobilise two-thirds of parliamentarians to impeach him [Ruto]. It will take time,” Mr Tuju said in an interview with KTN News on Wednesday evening.
He went on: “This President has a year and few months to go. He has a choice to make. Should he deal with Covid-19, ensuring that the economy survives, focus on his ICT programmes like Ajira, which has created one million jobs in the last one year, or should he spend his energy doing all political maneuvering to get rid of the Deputy President or those people who are not following Jubilee. He has decided to ignore it.”
He said the Constitution gives DP Ruto absolute protection and he cannot be sacked by his boss.
“DP Ruto is a very lucky man. He vehemently opposed the 2010 Constitution and he is the first beneficiary because that Constitution protects him from being removed from his position unless [he is] impeached by Parliament,” Mr Tuju said.
The Deputy President can only leave office if he dies, resigns or is impeached with a two-thirds majority in both Houses.
To table such a motion, an MP requires the support of a third of lawmakers, or 117 MPs, to bring it to the floor.
Last month, Jubilee deputy secretary-general Joshua Kutuny, who is also Cherang’any MP, told the Nation that following attacks on the ruling party by the Deputy President, the party was set to replace him as deputy party leader by November this year as the succession of Mr Kenyatta gathers steam.
According to Mr Kutuny, a former political adviser of Mr Kenyatta, the new deputy party leader will play an active role in ensuring that Jubilee is on the negotiation table ahead of next year’s polls.
“A decision to remove Ruto from his position as deputy party leader has to be implemented because there is no two-way outreach. It must be done because it is a demand from the party,” he said.
“We’re going to have many interim officials because we must be on the negotiation table and with a team which is going to take over from the current leadership.”
In Wednesday’s interview, Mr Tuju accused DP Ruto of thirsting for power in opposing the handshake between President Kenyatta and his erstwhile rival Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) boss Raila Odinga that brought peace.
Mr Tuju said the well-being of Kenya lies in the hands of all leaders and it can only prosper through peace, noting that governing the country cannot be confined to only two tribes.
“If we have a duopoly of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, we can probably repeat the wins of 2013 and 2017, but is it sustainable? A duopoly where two tribes lord over the rest of the country, have complete hegemony over the other ethnic groups - yes it can happen but is it sustainable?” he said.
“Is it something which can continue forever without the country going into a civil war? This is why the President reached out to Raila.”
Dr Ruto recently said Mr Kenyatta was not elected to work for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) and as they continue with their confusion, Kenyans are ready and are waiting for them in 2022.
“Instead of the President working for Kenyans, he’s dealing with the five trying to organise them with their greed, arrogance and ego, and now the country is stuck,” he said at a church service in Huruma, Nairobi.
Mr Tuju also disclosed that the President had avoided calling for a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting despite pressure from the DP’s Tangatanga wing because he is not ready to explain why he chose to reach out to Mr Odinga in the handshake.
“All these people talking about PG, all that they have been interested in is to confront the President on this issue of the handshake. There are times when certain things are not negotiable,” he said.