Deputy President William Ruto’s allies dared President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene the National Executive Committee to ratify the decision by the National Management Committee to recommend Ruto’s removal as Jubilee deputy party leader.
The allies laughed off a move by Jubilee’s top organ to remove him as deputy party leader saying he moved on long time ago.
The DP’s confidants claimed that he is no longer in the ruling party following what they termed an aggressive onslaught that pushed him to the periphery within the Jubilee rank and file.
NMC, a high-ranking Jubilee organ with sweeping powers to act on behalf of the NEC, said on Monday that it had resolved to kick out Ruto as the party’s second in command.
There are concerns within Ruto’s camp that the same NMC and acting on NEC’s behalf might go ahead to seal the DP’s fate as the Jubilee deputy party leader without necessarily having a whole NEC meeting.
However, the Jubilee constitution requires such a major decision be ratified by NEC, which is chaired by the President as the party leader.
The DP’s allies insisted that the Jubilee officials, whom they said are in office on an interim basis after their mandate allegedly expired, cannot purport to kick out their seniors from office.
Kipkelion West MP Hilary Koskei charged the SG of the party Tuju has been unwell and therefore he cannot respond to a statement issued by him.
“We should understand that Tuju has been unwell. I don’t the state of his mind therefore I can’t comment. But if NEC decides to remove DP as the deputy party leader, we shall deal with it when that time comes,” said Koskei.
His Belgut counterpart Nelson Koech was categorical that the removal of his boss from the plum position of the party is not only inconsequential but does not guarantee kicking him out as the deputy president.
“Whatever they are trying to do is inconsequential. They can remove him for all we care but they cannot kick him out as the DP,” said Koech.
Koech a key ally further ruled out that the Jubilee party is no longer interested in fielding a presidential candidate and that they will be lucky if they get two MPs in the August 2022 polls.
“The problem with Jubilee is that its being run by political desperados who have no clout. They can remove everybody but what they will not do is to kill the vision Jubilee had,” he added.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi argued that to kick out Ruto as the deputy party leader, the Constitution of the party ought to be amended to give them powers to kick out a leader of such caliber.
According to Linturi, such a move will only confirm their fears that those in-charge of the party are ‘Lords of Impunity’, adding that the problem of Jubilee is having people appointed to run the affairs of the party.
“If they remove the DP, they will only be confirming our fears that indeed they are ‘Lords of Impunity’. The problem in this country is having political parties being run by appointees instead of elected leaders,” said Linturi.
However, Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri however told the DP to make up his mind on whether he wants to continue to be the Jubilee Party deputy party leader or be the party leader of United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Ngunjiri likened the DP’s dalliance with UDA with a Bishop heading one church and deputizing in another.
“One cannot be a Bishop of one church and be the deputy bishop of another church. The problems the DP is facing are self-inflicted. UDA is now competing with Jubilee and in some cases UDA is defeating Jubilee. You cannot have your cake and eat it. This is what makes our politics dirty,” said Ngunjuri.
Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka said that the bold decision by Jubilee Party’s NMC to eject Ruto as the party’s deputy leader is just but a smokescreen for his impeachment.
“All President Uhuru Kenyatta needs is to have two-thirds majority of MPs in the National Assembly and the Senate. DP allies can only pray that President does not have these numbers. If he has these numbers the DP will be in Sugoi by June,” said Onyonka.
In January Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi said his party had resolved to table an impeachment motion against the DP, noting that it was “immoral and hypocritical” for Ruto to enjoy the perks of the position he occupies and still continues criticizing the President whom he deputizes, accusing him of poor leadership.
Ruto has openly proclaimed support for activities by UDA and even supported UDA candidates in recent by-elections in a clear indication that he has abandoned Jubilee.
He has, however, never publicly denounced the Jubilee Party on whose ticket he was jointly elected with Uhuru.
The DP’s allies have argued that UDA, which was previously the Party for Development and Reforms, is in a coalition agreement with Jubilee and therefore their association with it is within the law.