Skip Jubilee PG at own peril, Tuju warns Ruto allies
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Stern action will be taken against Members of the National Assembly who will skip a Jubilee Parliamentary Group Meeting scheduled for next week, the party has warned.
Addressing a press conference at Jubilee Party headquarters, Nairobi, yesterday, secretary general Raphael Tuju said the party would punish any legislator who fails to attend the PG to be chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I want to make it very clear that our party constitution will be adhered to. We are not going to be very merciful when it comes to party discipline.
“In the past, we have been very generous to our members, some even using without authority, the party stationery . . . we will not allow that kind of dysfunction. I am sorry, they are mistaken and disciplinary action will be taken without hesitation,” Tuju.
He was flanked by party chairman Nelson Dzuya and Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata, said.
He, however, said that whatever action to be taken would follow due process.
At the same time, Tuju threatened to crack the whip on Deputy President William Ruto and his allies for defying and contradicting the party position, which, he said, amounted to indiscipline.
In what seems to be an all-out war on the DP, Tuju has hinted at initiating disciplinary action against the second in command for his public utterances against the party and its leadership.
“We have one country, one president, one party leader; party discipline is a must. We cannot afford to have a dysfunctional party, because we will have a dysfunctional government,” the party boss said.
However, Tuju was non-committal on how they intend to punish the DP, only saying: “Where we will have to do a PG, we will do it, and where we need a resolution of the NEC, which actually is the case with some in power, we will use that particular provision of the law.”
His sentiments were supported by party chairman Dzuya, who said: “We will return discipline to the party. All leaders elected on the party ticket must toe the line. Going forward, we will not tolerate any shenanigans.”
The Deputy President has publicly expressed his opposition to the March 9, 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga, which gave birth to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The programme, which is aimed at enhancing national cohesion and eliminate election-related violence, is one of the President’s pet projects.
Uhuru has, in fact, made it clear that his legacy is hinged on implementation of the BBI report and nobody would come between him and the Handshake.
However, Ruto and his allies see the BBI as a ploy to frustrate his 2022 State House bid and creating space for Raila and his opposition colleagues to join the government.
“As a democratic society the proposals by BBI will be subjected to an open national conversation where every voice (the weak/strong, the small/big) will be heard,” Ruto tweeted on October 19, 2019.
Yesterday, Tuju accused politicians allied to the DP’s Tanga Tanga group of betrayal and going against Jubilee Party dictates.
Tuju said the MPs, while contesting for elective seats, swore in their respective contracts to support the party and that the politicians hang on the party goodwill to get elected to their current positions.
“For them to change tack midstream, is nothing but betrayal of the party. You cannot hide behind the Deputy President or myself (SG), you stand accused when you fail to toe to the party line,” he said.
“When the Whip communicates that you vote in a certain manner and because of your independent vote you decide otherwise, you stand accused,” Tuju said in reference to seven senators who voted against the vote of no-confidence against ousted Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki.
They are Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo-Marakwet), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Christopher Lang’at (Bomet), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), John Kinyua (Laikipia), Samson Cherargei (Nandi) and Kindiki himself.
Sources told People Daily that in an audacious move, Uhuru’s men were planning to summon the DP, the deputy party leader, over alleged insubordination.
In recent days, Jubilee has made sweeping changes that have seen it kick out legislators allied to Ruto from powerful positions in the Senate.
Murkomen, Kihika and Kithure Kindiki, were ejected from the Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Deputy Speaker positions, respectively.
With the battle lines drawn and the clean-up now heading to the National Assembly, Tuju says the party’s National Executive Committee, after securing President Kenyatta’s appointment, will convene any time from Thursday ahead of the Parliamentary Group meeting where more changes will be effected.
“When we meet with MPs, if they have cases to answer we are going to process those cases and the party is free to make any changes that it requires to make at the National Assembly.
“That is the prerogative of the party and we will make those changes when and if we