DP William Ruto won’t quit Jubilee for new party, says ally

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Ruto in Soy
Deputy President William Ruto. Photo/FILE

Deputy President William Ruto allies are exploring new avenues to remain relevant in Jubilee Party even as they vowed they won’t quit the ruling outfit.

Sources privy to the intrigues within the party told People Daily that Ruto’s confidants had agreed to explore “other ways” to ensure the DP has a vehicle to run for the presidency in 2022 if their current push for control of the party collapses.

According to the source, the Ruto wing plans to brainstorm on the matter once the country contains the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are not just sitting here...we have other options that we are exploring if our push fails,” said the source.

And speaking separately, Soy MP Caleb Kositany said Ruto had no plans of forming another party despite the infighting in ruling Jubilee.

The MP, who is also Jubilee deputy secretary general, yesterday said the DP will stay put and deliver the promises he and president Uhuru Kenyatta made to Kenyans. 

Ruto and Uhuru appear to have fallen out, with the party rocked by supremacy wars between their two camps.

The President’s relationship with his deputy was further complicated by the March, 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, which seems to have sidelined the DP. 

Piling pressure

  Kositany, a key Ruto ally, revealed that leaving the party to create another political out was not in the cards.

“We have no plans to form another party. We are not leaving Jubilee unless they (opponents), come with guns.  If the law is applied and the Political Parties Act observed, there will be no reason for us to form another party,” he told People Daily.

The MP was responding to calls by some party members and DP supporters, who have been piling pressure on him to quit the ruling party to avoid humiliation. 

But Kositany was cagey on Ruto’s next course of action, only concurring that the matter could only be dealt with after the pandemic. Should the health crisis take longer, he said, they will demand a meeting of the party National Executive Committee (NEC) to sort out the issues. 

NEC, which acts as the executive body of the National Governing Council and the National Delegates Convention, ensures all decisions made are implemented and all policies adhered to.

According to the party law, NEC also ensures proper order, discipline, and strict adherence to the party’s constitution, by–laws, and party policies by all officials, members, and all organs of the party.

For the past one year, the ruling party has been caught up in high-octane infighting touching on the push for internal elections, demands for a parliamentary group meeting, and perceived sidelining of Ruto in the management of the party.

The wrangles escalated last week following a move by the wing led by Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju to change the membership of National Management Committee (NMC), a move that was Ruto and 146 MPs from both the National Assembly and the Senate. They claim the changes contravene the party constitution. 

Party constitution

 The Soy MP wrote a protest letter to the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu claiming the change of officials was effected using falsified minutes, which he claims were forged by Tuju because NMC never met.

Kositany wants the Registrar to furnish him with documents including minutes of meetings allegedly held by the NMC, documents received regarding change of the party constitution as well as any filings of the party returned and a certified copy of the Jubilee Constitution deposited with the office.

Another Ruto ally, Baringo North MP William Cheptumo said the list of new officials does not bother them, but rather the manner in which they sneaked in.

Top DP allies want Tuju and party chairman Nelson Dzuya removed from the party to pave way for Kositany’s ascendancy to the secretary general’s  post.

 The Soy MP, one of the vocal Ruto loyalists in the Tanga Tanga faction of the ruling party, appeared to acknowledge that controversial Jubilee vice chair David Murathe, who has been critical of the DP, still held onto the post despite have declared that he had resigned. 

 “We are dealing with very dishonest people. Murathe was supposed to resign in writing but he only announced it on TV meaning he is still the vice chair. We don’t have any problem with him.

We can have him as the chairman because if the current chairman leaves, he will automatically become the chair and if Tuju leaves, I will be the SG,” Kositany said.

Tuju and Kositany have been reading from different scripts, constantly issuing parallel statements as their backers cheer, even as the actions continue to push the party into murky waters.

Tuju did not respond to our queries on the matter, but in a recent brutal rebuttal to the DP allies, he rubbished claims that he has been causing problems in the party, saying whatever has happened (changes of officials) is within the law.

He defended the changes, saying they were made long before coronavirus was reported in the country, dismissing assertions by the pro-Ruto wing suggesting the changes gazetted by the Registrar of Political Parties on April 6 were sneaked in as the country battled Covid-19.

 However, a senior MP allied to the pro-Uhuru Kieleweke faction warned that the silence among the President’s supporters should not be misconstrued to mean they were cowards, adding that the “take-over plot” by DP allies did not stand a chance.

 The lawmaker, who wished not to be named, said DP allies were fighting a losing battle.

 “Remember Jubilee Party leadership sometimes back met with the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership?

The party is operating like the China’s ruling party which is controlled by its leader,” the MP said, suggesting that Uhuru’s word was final as far as the party affairs were concerned.

 Ruto allies, uncomfortable with Tuju, were at the beginning of this year fronting  Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali , for the position of party chairman.

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