Belief political parties in Kenya are only means of capturing power is being cemented by wrangles that have rocked major outfits ahead of the 2022 elections.
This is not a new occurrence. It happens in the run up to every election. At times, parties disintegrate and new ones formed. Others merge to form coalitions.
In developed democracies, political parties are known for their ideologies unlike in Kenya, and African at large.
The ruling Jubilee Party is currently struggling to remain united after emergence of two rival camps, one backing President Uhuru Kenyatta and the other Deputy President William Ruto.
Jubilee’s problems were triggered by a unity deal between President Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga which culminated in the famous handshake on March 9, 2017.
Ruto and his allies claim the deal and renewed war against corruption are political tools devised to block him from succeeding Uhuru.
Jubilee was formed in 2016 by collapsing 12 member parties. One of the agreements during its formation, it is alleged, was that Uhuru would back Ruto in 2022
The party is currently facing serious infighting that threatens its survival.
Already, there are talks Ruto may opt to run under a different party. This was after some of his allies were seen clad in T-shirts of his defunct United Republican Party (URP) during his recent tour of Kiambu County.
Former Jubilee vice-chairman and Uhuru’s ally David Murathe said the DP could be planning to leave Jubilee.
“You have seen they have started wearing yellow T-shirts, colours of URP. What message are they sending? Are they hinting at leaving Jubilee?” Murathe said.
The party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale have, however, maintained Jubilee is united.
Duale said Ruto will be the party’s candidate and called on anyone interested in Jubilee’s ticket to challenge Ruto in the party primaries.
In ODM, the party has expelled Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa after she declared her support for Ruto’s presidency.
Jumwa has since appealed her ouster. She is represented in the battle against her party by lawyer Kipchumba Murkomen, the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator and a close ally of Ruto.
ODM’s losses in Ugenya and Embakasi parliamentary by-elections have also rocked the party. The losses have been linked to claims of lack of democracy in ODM which has seen popular candidates denied tickets.
In ANC, Musalia Mudavadi is fighting to remove nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi as secretary general. Osotsi claims he founded ANC and Mudavadi should leave if he’s uncomfortable with him.
Ford-K's Moses Wetang’ula has been abandoned by his deputy party leader Bonny Khalwale.
Khalwale has ditched the party to support Ruto’s bid. He has in the past attacked his party boss of having no chance of winning the top seat.