Uhuru to step down as chair of Azimio amid defections

Uhuru was named Azimio council chairperson and Raila its leader. Raila has stepped into the shoes of leader, leading the coalition as it reorganises itself after defeat in the August election.

Uhuru's decision to step back and focus on his engagement on the continent as a peace envoy, could also be as a result of laws that require a former president not to hold any political office.

Section 6(1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act requires a retired president to step down from any political party, not more than six months after leaving the presidency.

While Murathe said Uhuru had no intention of relinquishing the leadership of Jubilee Party, his exit from Azimio amid the cannibalism by President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) could make it easier for members of his party to leave the coalition.

Some Jubilee Party leaders have openly blamed their association with Azimio for their election loss, and have stepped back from its core activities.

An implosion is taking place in Jubilee even as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua appears set to claim the victims of the UDA wave in Mt Kenya and have them support Ruto.

There has been a wave of post elections defections from Jubilee to UDA. Former Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe is the most recent member of the party to leave. She wrote her resignation to Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni last week.

From commanding a majority in the 11th Parliament, the dominance of the former ruling party has fizzled out. More members have threatened to quit the party in the coming weeks.

As UDA continues to court the legislators from the region who stuck with Uhuru and Raila, more are expected to leave the party as Jubilee searches for direction.

Protest rallies

Despite being in opposition, and Raila having called rallies to protest against the perceived mistreatment of four electoral commissioners by the Ruto administration, Jubilee has been reluctant to participate.

Statements from some of the leaders regarding the nominations and elections to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala) have been telling of a developing fissure between ODM and Jubilee.

Former Kieni MP Kanini Kega was elected to the regional assembly but his election was an olive branch extended by Rigathi who has been keen to prove that the region should remain united.

Kega was among the top leaders in the party and led campaigns against Ruto.

But the Jubilee Director of Elections is likely to mellow after the Eala seat and has even said that some of the leaders in ODM did not back his Eala bid despite being in the same coalition.

Murathe said that Jubilee would remain a major political player and the party would start a recruitment drive to grow its numbers once again.