Uhuru, Ruto competing interests threaten Jubilee survival, says Kuria

Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria {right} confer at interview on KTN NEWS with Host Tony Gachoka at Serena Hotel on July,15 2019. [John Muchucha/Standard]

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria now warns that competing interests between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto could wreck Jubilee before the 2022 polls.

Mr Kuria said while Ruto’s side has intensified efforts to take control of the party as part of its political game plan to capture power, Uhuru is keen on his handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The MP said there is a strong feeling by Ruto’s camp that the deal between Uhuru and Raila was yet another scheme to sabotage his presidential bid.

Kuria, who initially backed Ruto, said the DP expected Uhuru to hand over control of the party to him after the 2017 General Election to allow him cobble together a team to assist him in his presidential bid.

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The lawmaker said this is the reason Ruto has picked battles with Jubilee officials perceived to be Uhuru allies due to fears they are not working to get him to State House.

Ruto has recently gone on the offensive, targeting Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju on claims he is a strategist for Raila - his potential challenger in 2022.

Similar claims

His allies have been calling for Tuju’s resignation after they successfully pushed former party vice-chairman David Murathe out over similar claims of working against the DP’s interests.

In an interview with Point Blank on KTN News last night, Kuria said the wrangles and split in Cabinet can only be resolved if Uhuru and Ruto’s competing interests are dealt with.

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“The biggest problem is Uhuru and Ruto's journeys have different destinations. For Ruto, his desire is to take control of Jubilee. He believes this is the party we built and campaigned with, and it should propel him to power. That is why the issue of Tuju came up."

“Uhuru is looking at uniting the country and beyond the party,” Kuria said, adding that he supports Uhuru's deal with Raila. He argued that the country is bigger than Jubilee winning an election.

He disclosed that he would not back Ruto's presidential bid, saying; “He is a friend yes, but I am not in his team.”

Kuria also claimed that most Jubilee supporters, including residents of Mt Kenya, feel betrayed by the Uhuru-Raila deal and have thrown their support behind Ruto.

“What Ruto is saying, and I don’t think his view is right, is shared by close to the eight million people who voted for Uhuru. They believe the President has abandoned the people who voted for him, and they believe the mission he is on with Raila is a sellout.

“But I am with Kenyatta on the handshake. I understand him because there is more to winning an election,” he said.

On the claims of an assassination plot against Ruto, Kuria called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to conclude its probe, warning that the claims could bring down the Jubilee administration.

“As I have said before, these allegations can break this government. It would be very wrong if some people can plot murder of another. We leave it to the DCI to complete their investigations."

Kuria hit out at MPs associated with team Tangatanga, accusing them of being dishonest about the existence of Mt Kenya leadership forum that has been pushing for development.

Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, one of the CSs linked to the Ruto assassination claims, had said the meetings allegedly used to hatch the plot were actually a development forum for the region.

Kuria confirmed that he convened the first meeting at Serena Hotel before the region's leaders met Uhuru in Nyeri.

“I was the initiator of the meetings. We were going for a PG (parliamentary group meeting) at State House, and I said we should meet before we go there. We met at Boulevard, Naivasha and later met Uhuru in Nyeri."

The MP said that political leaders later withdrew and left technocrats to spearhead the agenda.

On the push for a referendum, Kuria said he is ready to defy Uhuru because he will not support such an exercise before 2022.

He said there are certain amendments that can be made through Parliament without subjecting the country to a vote, while those that must be decided by the people can be voted for during the next polls.

“I cannot support a referendum. I have given my recommendations to the Building Bridges Initiative and I told them there are some changes we can do through Parliament.

Serious problems

“We'll not stop this country every now and them to do a referendum. Our economy is in serious problems.”

He also weighed in on the controversial allowances being pushed by his colleagues in Parliament, saying payments to MPs were skewed with some members earning more than others.

He said MPs from far-flung areas were earning millions of shillings in mileage allowance.

“The biggest problem we have in Parliament is that it is skewed. An MP from North Eastern takes home four times what I earn as an MP for Gatundu because of mileage. MPs from Garisa, Wajir, Turkana take home Sh2 million a month in mileage."

He opposed the new allowances, including night allowance, being pushed by his colleagues as unjustified and said MPs could not keep on reviewing their salaries and allowances.

Kuria also talked of his relationship with Raila. “I have a good relationship with Raila. He is an amazing man. He holds no grudges and I would want to be like him when I grow up. I have a special relationship with him."

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MP Moses KuriaJubileeUhuru KenyattaWilliam Ruto2022 Elections