Uhuru allied MPs open new war front with Murathe, Tuju
Claims that some Central Kenya MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta are planning to control Jubilee by influencing the choice of grassroots officials has opened a fresh war in the party.
The war pits the lawmakers and party officials, mainly vice-chairman David Murathe and secretary-general Raphael Tuju.
Some Jubilee MPs and MCAs are said to be planning to recruit party officials in the ward, constituency and county levels and then push for a National Delegates Conference with intention of dislodging top officials.
Sources told People Daily that the campaign specifically targets Murathe and Tuju on the grounds that they were responsible for the party’s flagging fortunes.
While Murathe has welcomed the initiative by Kieni MP Kanini Kega, Nyeri Town’s Ngunjiri Wambugu, Jude Njomo (Kiambu Town) and Sabina Chege (Murang’a Woman Rep) to revamp the party, he at the same time reads mischief in the process, saying the leaders want to control Jubilee which would give them undue advantage in party primaries for next year’s elections.
According to Murathe, the MPs were planning to take over the party by planting their allies in grassroots and national positions.
“All they want is skewed nominations to the disadvantage of their challengers. This could trigger mass exodus of aspirants who may end up beating them in the main elections,” he said.
He cited the 2017 election when only Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi, Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege and less than 30 per cent of the MPs were re-elected, saying that had Jubilee allowed incumbent MPs to run the party, majority of the current leaders would have been elected through other parties had they been denied the party ticket.
“We welcome every move to rejuvenate the party, but it should include everybody. What they are trying to do is a recipe for killing the party, which we will not allow.
In Central Kenya, about 70 per cent of leaders are never re-elected. If the incumbents want to control the party, their competitors will leave for other parties and still defeat them. Will that be building or killing the party?” he posed.
Tears and blood
On Wednesday, Kega, Wambugu and Chege convened a meeting in Nairobi where they announced what they said was a process to rejuvenate and rebrand the party by bringing in fresh leadership.
Among those who attended were MPs Ng’ang’a King’ara (Ruiru), Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga), Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo), Mary Wamaua (Maragua), Kabinga Wachira (Mwea), James Gichuki (Othaya) and Peter Kimari (Mathioya). Some MCAs from Kiambu County also attended.
Yesterday, Ngunjiri insisted that Murathe and Tuju must leave office “if Jubilee is to survive.”
Ngunjiri said they “will continue to sacrifice tears and blood to revive our party” and would not allow Tuju to “deliberately kill our party as we watch.”
The MP said aspirants seeking to contest on the Jubilee ticket will be involved in the efforts to strengthen the party.
“In 2022 all of us will be aspirants. So I am happy that an aspirants forum has emerged to champion our interests in Jubilee.
But we need to get Jubilee to 2022, which is where we come in. What we have seen and learnt is that Tuju and Murathe will not get Jubilee to 2022,” the MP said yesterday.
He added: We are willing to collect signatures from members and aspirants asking them (Murathe and Tuju) to leave.
Let them also collect signatures from aspirants and members who want them to stay.”
Reacting to the MPs’ announcement that they would dislodge him and Tuju from office, Murathe challenged them to ask the President to fire them.
“Let them pick their phones, call the party leader and tell him they are unhappy with us and ask him to remove us,” he said.
But yesterday, Ngunjiri fired back saying the reference to the President was only meant to intimidate them.
“The usual line of ‘the President told us’ will not work this time, certainly not with us. And they really must also stop thinking that they are the only ones the President speaks to,” he said.