Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju now says those pushing for his dismissal want control of the hundreds of millions of shillings to be made from party primaries.
He says a group of elected lawmakers who feel he is not “user-friendly” has vowed to kick him out in the guise of salvaging the fortunes of the ruling party.
“We’re in that season of madness again. I’d be naïve not to expect turbulence in Jubilee,” Mr Tuju, who is also a Cabinet Secretary without portfolio, said Saturday.
“That’s why they are calling for my dismissal or resignation. This position comes with a lot of responsibilities.”
Drop top officials
A group of MPs recently wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking him to “save the party from imminent oblivion” by dropping top officials.
“They think having control of the party machinery will secure tickets. The noise comes with the territory. There are substantial resources. They think being at the helm gives one control over the resources,” Mr Tuju said.
“Mine is to act in the best interest of Jubilee as guided by the party leader. No party secretary general has had the kind of privilege I have, of sitting in the Cabinet. I expect people to be envious of that.”
A number of candidates who failed to defend their seats, like former Dagoretti South MP Denis Waweru, accuse Deputy President William Ruto of rigging them out.
In 2017, Jubilee lowered the non-refundable nomination fees marginally, making a kill in the process as it attracted more aspirants than other top parties.
The party charged Sh100,000 for a governor hopeful and Sh50,000 for Senate. The Orange Democratic Movement, on the other hand, demanded Sh500,000 for anyone who wanted to be governor and Sh250, 000 for the Senate seat race.
Mr Tuju said a number of aspirants streamed to his office with lucrative financial offers in 2017 only if he could help them get tickets illegally.
“Some came to my office with money but I have learnt to be contented with what God has given me. I cannot be bribed,” Mr Tuju said.
Nomination headache is not unique to Jubilee. Top parties experience falling-out after primaries, leading to many hopefuls ditching them for smaller outfits or to run as independent candidates.
A Jubilee faction from Mt Kenya wants Mr Tuju out of the equation.
The MPs favour a person from the region in the event of a pre or post-election pact with leading presidential contenders.
Talks on the Jubilee-ODM merger have not been easy for Mr Tuju, given that he comes from the same county with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“I have been accused of being an ODM sympathiser, a claim I find comical. I have never been a member of ODM. Some of the people saying so left that party just recently. Those advancing this are engaged in ethnic profiling,” he said.
Dr Ruto and his allies lost the war to wrest control of Jubilee from President Kenyatta’s faction.
The DP’s team them trooped to the United Democratic Alliance.
At some point, Dr Ruto announced that he would operate from the party offices, only to beat a hasty retreat.
The DP’s Jubilee faction wanted to remove Mr Tuju and his group during party elections.
The agitation against Mr Tuju and Jubilee chairman David Murathe has been taken up by Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu and Kieni’s Kanini Kega who accuse them of running down the party.