Why Justin Muturi's DP deal with William Ruto is in trouble

DP WIlliam Ruto Speaker Justin Muturi

DP WIlliam Ruto with National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi (left) on April 9, 2022.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi’s move to back Deputy President William Ruto in the August State House race risks being rescinded after the regulator questioned the deal following complaints by some Democratic Party (DP) officials.

Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu has declared as merited a complaint by some DP officials who argued that Mr Muturi went against the decision of the outfit’s National Delegates Convention (NDC) not to join any coalition before the election.

Speaker Justin Muturi joins Kenya Kwanza

The party NDC minutes in her possession, Ms Nderitu said, only allowed the party to ink a post-election deal, and not one before the polls.

“From the foregoing, the complaint by the three members of your party is grounded and has merit. In line with section 34(g) of the Political Parties Act, 2011, this Office guides the party to resolve the complaint raised and advise the Office on how the matter has been resolved,” the registrar said in a letter dated April 11.

NDC declarations

Deputy Secretary General Wambugu Nyamu, Daniel Munene and Kingori Choto wrote to the registrar opposing the move and accused speaker Muturi of betraying the party and going against the party NDC declarations.

“In their complaint, the three raised their concern that the party NDC held on February 20, 2022, resolved that the party should not enter into any coalition before the General Election scheduled on August 9, 2022.

In addition, the three have argued that the NDC resolved that DP should only consider joining a post-election coalition,” Ms Nderitu said in a letter seen by the Nation.

The NDC minutes resolved: “That the party will go it alone in the forthcoming General Election 2022. The party will therefore NOT enter into any pre-election arrangement or coalition with any political parties.”

The deal with Kenya Kwanza was brokered by a section of the DP party leadership, led by party leader Muturi, chairperson Esau Kioni, Secretary General Jacob Haji and the patron, Mr Joseph Munyao.

Elicited protests

The deal has elicited protests from within the party, even as Mr Kioni insisted the coalition agreement was done with the consent of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Mr Kioni has also argued that the NDC declarations that DP would not be entering any pre-election coalition are not absolute, which Ms Nderitu has faulted.

While Ms Nderitu said the Kenya Kwanza Coalition document had not been lodged in her office, the complaint needed to be heard on the basis of the party NDC, whose minutes have to be filed with the registrar.

“Given that this office has not received any coalition agreement bearing the name “Kenya Kwanza”, the issue raised by the three shall be treated as a complaint,” Ms Nderitu said.

The party has been asked to resolve the matter and advise the registrar.

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