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Uhuru now kicks out the only Ruto man left in Jubilee Party

Soy MP Caleb Kositany at Kabatini area in Bahati Constituency on June 17, 2019. [File]

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday completed the purge against allies of Deputy President William Ruto by kicking his only remaining lieutenant from the Jubilee Party.

The ruling coalition last evening fired Soy MP Caleb Kositany as its Deputy Secretary-General and replaced him with Cherangany’s Joshua Kutuny.

“The Jubilee Party National Management Committee met today – March 1, 2021, at the party headquarters, and in the exercise of its mandate as provided for under Article 7 (2) of the Jubilee Party Constitution, removed Caleb Kositany from the position of Deputy Secretary-General with immediate effect,” Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said in a statement.

“Joshua Kutuny, MP for Cherangany, is the new Deputy Secretary-General of the Jubilee Party,” he said.

The ouster of the vocal lawmaker came barely three days after Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe, during a television interview, warned him against campaigning for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidates in the forthcoming by-elections in Kabuchai and Matungu constituencies.

Put on notice

Murathe told Mr Kositany that he and other Tangatanga MPs campaigning for UDA candidates would be expelled. “I am putting Kositany on notice that when NMC meets on Monday, we will remove you from the party,” Murathe said.

He said it was unlawful for the Tangatanga MPs to propagate the interests of another party and still claim to be in Jubilee.

The ouster of Kositany means Ruto now has no ally remaining in the running of the party whose formation he spearheaded in the run-up to the 2017 General Election by merging 13 parties.

Former Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale (Garissa Township) and Senate’s Kipchumba Murokmen (Elegeyo Marakwet), former Senate Majority Whips Susan Kihika (Nakuru) and Irungu Kang’ata lost their seats in the party’s National Management Committee (NMC) that makes critical decisions for the party.

They were members of the organ by virtue of their leadership positions in Parliament.

It appears that the once blissful union between Uhuru and Ruto is slowly turning into a nasty fallout, with Tuju now taking on Ruto’s hustlers’ agenda.

Tuju, in his response to a case filed by Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, explains why Jubilee can no longer gel with Ruto’s diehards currently rallying behind UDA, and argues that the hustler nation agenda is contrary to the ruling party’s manifesto and campaign pledge.

Jubilee expelled Mr Mwaura over his association with UDA. According to Tuju, Mwaura had publicly supported the new outfit and had been campaigning for a different agenda from Jubilee’s manifesto and the Building Bridges Initiative.

“I urge this honourable tribunal to take judicial notice of the fact that the ‘hustler nation’ is a platform publicly propagated by the UDA in opposition to the Building Bridges Initiative (hereinafter ‘BBI’), which is a national unity project initiated by the first respondent party leader towards achievement of the first respondent’s manifesto,” Tuju replied.

According to Tuju, hustler means fraud, and therefore anyone associating Jubilee with the term brings shame to the ruling party.

In order to support his claim, Tuju went ahead to explain the different meanings of the name from Oxford Learner’s dictionary, Cambridge dictionary, Collins dictionary and Merriam-Webster dictionary. He concluded that a hustler was one who obtains money by fraud and who lures the less skillful players into competing at a gambling game.

“I am therefore aware that the UDA-hustler nation agenda is a fraud on the first respondent’s (Jubilee) manifesto and service delivery agenda. I am aware that by adopting the UDA-hustler nation agenda, the complainant glaringly abandoned the first respondent’s agenda, opposing the first respondent’s manifesto and service delivery agenda,” Tuju’s reply filed by Lawyer Njoki Mboche read.

Others expelled are Millicent Omanga, Naomi Waqo, Mary Yiane, Prengei Victor and Falhada Dekow.

They moved to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal arguing that the decision was illegal since they were not accorded a fair hearing by the Jubilee Party disciplinary committee.

No written complaint

Mwaura, in his application filed by lawyer Hillary Sigei, said the decision to expel him contravened the party’s constitution, since the disciplinary process against him was initiated without any written and signed complaint.

“My expulsion was malicious, with no justifiable reason. The committee relied on unauthenticated information to arrive at the preconceived outcome without giving me sufficient time to defend myself,” he said.

Sigei argued that the other five senators were also ambushed with unsubstantiated allegations and that their disciplinary proceedings were initiated through vague show-cause letters that did not disclose any violation of the party’s constitution.

According to Sigei, the party’s decision to take action against the five senators for failing to attend a parliamentary group meeting in May last year was discriminatory since many other senators allied to Ruto also boycotted the event.

“No disciplinary process was conducted against the senators. On the contrary, they were told to attend a consultative meeting at the party headquarters, which turned out to be a disciplinary hearing where they were not given the opportunity to defend themselves,” said Sigei.

But Tuju now says he argued his case. He called Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa as a witness.

According to Tuju, the nominated senator argued that UDA, which is a successor of the Party of Development Reforms (PDR), has a coalition agreement with Jubilee and therefore his association was not in any way defiant.

Tuju asserts that Mwaura’s association with UDA and its campaign of a hustler and dynasty ideologies are the reasons he cannot be housed by Jubilee.

“I am also aware that by adopting the UDA-hustler nation agenda, the complainant glaringly abandoned the first respondent’s agenda and adopted the opposing UDA-hustler nation agenda,” he said.

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