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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ruto’s fate now lies with Uhuru

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The decision to kick out Deputy President William Ruto from his position as deputy party leader now lies with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Party chairman Nelson Dzuya and his Vice David Murathe on Monday said that only President Kenyatta holds the cards on the fate of his estranged deputy following the October 2020 decision of the National Management Committee (NMC) to kick him out of the party.

“NMC sat in October last year and made a resolution to remove Dr Ruto from his post as Jubilee deputy party leader. That resolution stands. Once the NMC sits, we set the agenda for the National Executive Council (NEC) which can either adopt, review or throw out the decision of the NMC. That is the only thing we are waiting for,” said Dzuya.

Some Ruto’s critics want President Kenyatta to be the one to chair the NEC meeting to deliberate on the NMC decision.

However, there is a growing push to have Dzuya, the soft-spoken, but powerful Jubilee chairman, to chair the meeting on behalf of the President.

Under the Jubilee Constitution, Dzuya can chair a NEC meeting on behalf of the party leader but if the party leader has other schedules or is busy when NEC is supposed to meet, he can delegate it to the National Chairman of the Party. 

“The removal of the deputy party leader from his post is a weighty matter, we wanted him to chair the NEC meeting. But if he so chooses to delegate that responsibility to chair the meeting to me, I will do it,” said Dzuya.

The NMC, an organ that acts on behalf of and sets the agenda for NEC, voted to remove the DP from the deputy party leader post.

Two weeks ago, NMC kicked out Soy MP Caleb Kositany from the deputy secretary general post.

On Monday, Murathe said the DP had himself to blame and Jubilee was only following his lead.

“It is Ruto that has kicked himself out of Jubilee. How can you remove somebody who has removed himself? It is obvious. NMC did its job. We are just awaiting ratification by NEC,” said Murathe.

In the Monday’s NMC meeting, Murathe disclosed that they deliberated on nominations, the impending court ruling on the six expelled Jubilee senators, as well as the relationship between Jubilee and Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

 “We have put everything on ice in line with the President’s directive in light of President John Magufuli’s passing. When the President says, everything stops, even these (internal) fights,” said Murathe.

Isolated and facing a growing threat of impeachment, Ruto and his TangaTanga-allied leaders have found a home in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a rebrand of the Jubilee affiliate Party of Development and Reforms (PDR).

UDA has fielded candidates in this month’s Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary as well as Machakos senatorial seats with Ruto-allied MPs openly campaigning for the rebranded party’s candidates.

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