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ELECTION 2022

Why DP Ruto ouster was delayed

POLITICS
By Moses Nyamori | Mar 23rd 2021 | 3 min read
Deputy President William Ruto during the burial service of Arthur Kinyanjui the son of Bahati Mp Kimani Ngunjiri at Nakuru ASK show ground on March 11, 2021.[Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has put on hold the push to fire his deputy William Ruto from the ruling Jubilee Party in what confirms reports of a split among top officials.

Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe yesterday confirmed the decision, saying it was made to allow for mourning of fallen Tanzanian President John Magufuli.

The close ally of the president, however, affirmed that the National Management Committee (NMC) stands with its decision to have Ruto fired as the deputy party leader.

The party yesterday held another NMC meeting amid reports of a push by some top officials to have Ruto immediately removed from its leadership in an escalation of a battle that targets 2022 elections.

Another set of officials sees no hurry just yet, arguing the DP’s removal should be put on hold and used as a trump card by the president in future political battles.

“We have put everything on ice in honour of Magufuli and out of respect for our partnership with Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Everything is on hold until we finish mourning Magufuli,” said Murathe.

He added: “We are also waiting for further instructions on when a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting should be held because it is for the council to ratify, modify or reject. NMC has recommended he goes home.”

He said Ruto’s ouster as the deputy party leader has nothing to do with his position as the deputy president.

“After the party presents you as a running mate and you win, the constitution kicks in. It is only impeachment that can have him out as the deputy president,” Murathe said.

David Murathe acknowledges greetings from delegates who had attended a meeting at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri. [Kibata Kihu/Standard]

He accused Ruto of abandoning Jubilee for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and fronting candidates to compete with the ruling outfit.

He also claimed several MPs in the Tangatanga wing of the Jubilee Party that are allied to the DP were seeking to make a U-turn and rejoin Uhuru’s wing. He claimed Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa was one of Ruto’s allies seeking to abandon him ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“All these people have left and we wish them well. As far as we are concerned, it is them who have left Jubilee. But you can see some of them have started coming back. They have started running from that house like rats from a house on fire,” he added.

The scheme to fire the DP has dragged on since last October, with those keen on pushing him out agitating for a  NEC meeting to adopt the recommendation of the powerful NMC. Uhuru’s allies in Jubilee Party have accused Ruto of sabotage and faulted his association with UDA, an affiliate party of Jubilee.

At the same time, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju announced that the party will hold a press conference tomorrow on coming party activities, including the by-elections in Garissa, Juja and Bonchari.

“We will have a consultative meeting before we can issue a statement about the party activities,” said Tuju.

Jubilee has settled on Susan Njeri, the widow of former Juja MP Francis Waititu for the Juja parliamentary contest, John Opore for Bonchari and Abdul Haji, son of the late Senator Yusuf Haji, for Garissa.

Jubilee is also waiting for the verdict of the Political Parties Tribunal on the six nominated senators it expelled. The tribunal is expected to make a ruling this Friday.

 

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