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President Ruto meets Jubilee leaders amid protests from Azimio

President William Ruto speaks during a meeting with Jubilee officials and 120 MCAs at State House, Nakuru. [PSCU]

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday met  Jubilee officials and 120 MCAs in a move that insiders believe is a scheme to take over the party. 

While the pro-government leaders hailed the meeting insisting that it was an indication that the President is living up to his role as a symbol of unity, the anti-government leaders said the meeting signified the "epitome of corruption."

Nominated MP Sabina Chege who has been crowned as one of the Jubilee faction's party leaders said the outfit had resolved to work with the Kenya Kwanza administration to advance the country's development agenda.

Ms Chege urged the Jubilee members to work with Kenya Kwanza leaders in Parliament and the devolved units. 

"Should the government fail, we shall also lose as Kenyans and leaders. We shall support the government to ensure that it delivers to our people since that is the right thing to do," she said. 

Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the Jubilee party must protect the Kenya Kwanza agenda from sabotage by Ruto's detractors.

"Countries that have progressed succeeded because of firm and decisive leadership. We have made a decision and we should stick by it," the Mp said. 

Keynan disclosed that the meeting 'underscored the inherent strength of unity as a progressive element of national development that optimizes growth, creates equal opportunities and promotes progressive ideas and values that foster the general welfare of the nation."

East African Legislative Assembly lawmaker Kanini Kega who is also Jubilee Secretary General praised the President's policies saying they are good for the country. 

"The President has taken bold buy necessary decisions that will transform our country in the long term. In most cases, we make popular decisions but the President has made difficult decisions that may be unpopular by now but will be good in the future," Kega said.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala told The Standard that the meeting deliberated on areas of mutual collaboration and partnership with the Jubilee party and denied claims of interference with political parties. 

"The leaders came as Jubilee leaders and they left the meeting as the former ruling party members. Elections are over it is time to work for our people," he said 

However, the Jubilee faction led by Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni, said the Head of State's decision to meet party elected leaders, is in contravention of the National Dialogue Committee (Nadco) report on cease fire on the interference of political parties. 

"Yesterday's meeting was a testament that he did not have faith in the Bomas talks. He has betrayed the talks. His only card even before the talks was to bring down Jubilee which is the political party for Mt Kenya region," he said.

While terming the elected leaders who attended the Nakuru State Lodge meeting as liabilities, Kioni said the party has been on a charm offensive to identify the right candidates who will replace 'those who have betrayed the soul of Jubilee.'

"It is important for Kenyans to understand that political parties do not belong to the elected leaders but to them. They will come and go but they will be left to be the sole owners of the party," he told The Standard. 

To the President, Kioni said, "Messing up with the Azimio allied parties and influencing them with money is a strategy to dissemble Parliament so that there is no oversight and it is the epitome of corruption." 

Ruto called on leaders from across the political divide to set aside their differences and work together to advance the country’s development agenda.

He noted that Kenyans have abandoned tribal politics in favour of ideas and plans that will transform their lives.

The President explained that during the 2022 General Election, he garnered 25 per cent of votes in 39 counties, a demonstration that Kenya is moving towards unity. 

“Elections are behind us. The most important thing now is for us to unite,  work together and plan for the country’s transformation,” he said.

He assured the MCAs that the Kenya Kwanza Government supports a Bill seeking to make county assemblies autonomous to enhance their independence. 

“This will enable county assemblies to hold the executive accountable and improve transparency,” he said.

The Head of State emphasized that the government endorses the creation of a pension plan for MCAs.
 He lauded Jubilee as a national party with representatives from across the country. 

Ruto urged leaders to have the courage to make the right decisions for the country however difficult they may be.
 He said leaders can no longer afford to delay or derail the transformation of the country by making convenient and popular decisions. 

“I will always make the right decisions. You can never go wrong by making the right decision,” he added. 

The President assured that the government is keen on managing the country's debt which has slowed down development. 

“If for every Sh10 collected in Kenya Sh7 goes to pay debt, then we have a problem. It should be the other way around,” he said.

Leaders who attended the included Jubilee National Chairman Nelson Dzuya, Senators Abdul Haji (Garissa), Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Margaret Kamar (Nominated), MPs Aden Keynan (Eldas), Joseph Githuku (Lamu), Ruweida Obbo (Lamu East), Irene Njoki (Bahati), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West), Rachel Nyamai (Kitui South), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) and Sara Korere (Laikipia North).

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