Pressure from State machinery saw loyalists of Deputy President William Ruto in Nakuru announce the withdrawal of their opposition to leadership changes Jubilee Party has been making in Parliament.
Ruto is also said to have called on his supporters to drop their hard line stance and allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to make any changes as he wished.
Eight MPs from the region, who had emerged as the face of rebellion in the ongoing party wars, appeared to have been beaten into submission ahead of today’s Parliamentary Group meeting at State House, Nairobi.
The MPs, including Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, yesterday came out to declare that they are not against their party’s leadership changes in the Senate and National Assembly.
Ms Kihika said they have unreserved respect to President Kenyatta. She said they are ready to support his agenda, through the Senate and the National Assembly. However, sources told The Standard the leaders were left with no option, but to toe the line.
“There is no time a bill from the President has been brought to the Senate or National Assembly and we rejected it. This will not change even with the current Jubilee upheavals,” said Kihika.
A source at a meeting of the leaders at a Nakuru hotel said another meeting between Dr Ruto and his allies at his official residence in Karen at the weekend, resolved they should retreat and support the President.
“The DP was clear that we should retreat for the time being and allow the President to make the changes he wants in the Senate and National assembly. That is what he wanted,” said an MP who requested anonymity.
The leaders said while they still believe Ruto is most suitable to succeed Uhuru in 2022, they have decided to focus on supporting the Government agenda.
The Jubilee PG comes after Elegeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s removal as Majority Leader. Tharaka Nithi’s Kindiki Kithure lost the Deputy Speaker’s position as Kihika lost Majority Whip post.
Uhuru’s purge is expected to shift to the National Assembly today where key Ruto allies could be axed.
Yesterday, the leaders said they were fully behind Uhuru’s bid to reorganise the party’s leadership in both Houses. They said they are ready to support Uhuru’s Big Four agenda and his efforts to unite the country through BBI.
Others at the meeting were Joseph Tonui (Kuresoi South), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Kuria Kimani (Molo), Liza Chelule (Woman Rep), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha) and Njoro’s Charity Kathambi.