Jubilee mulls over string of mini poll losses
By Roselyne Obala and Moses Nyamori | July 19th 2021
Disgruntled Kieleweke MPs have now trained their guns on party officials following loss in the Kiambaa parliamentary by-election.
The infighting within President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team has been linked to the string of losses in recent by-elections, as everyone claims to be in charge, more so the secretariat, clashing with the parliamentary leadership.
The Standard has reliably learnt that despite the lawmakers shifting blame and calling for the resignation of vice-chairman David Murathe and Secretary-General Raphael Tuju over the party’s dismal performance, they were the ones in charge of this by-election.
They accused the two, as well as Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, of delivering disappointing results in Juja, and taking over the campaigns led by National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, Murang’a County MP Sabina Chege, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi, Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Nyeri Town’s Ngungiri Wambugu.
Surprisingly, the MPs want Murathe and Tuju, who were absent in the by-election campaigns, held responsible for the party’s woes.
Kimunya himself was in charge of the Rurii Ward by-election in Nyandarua County, but the party lost to a UDA candidate.
Inside sources privy to the happenings told The Standard that Kega has asked Tuju to resign over the Kiambaa loss. Kega was ironically on the team entrusted by the president to deliver the seat.
Yesterday, Tuju appeared resigned to fate when he described himself as a “simple employee of the party”.
He declined to engage those calling for his ouster, saying it would be inappropriate to engage in a back and forth argument with his “bosses”.
“I would not wish to go in a back and forth argument with high ranking members of the party who are MPs because I am a simple employee of the party,” said Tuju.
“They are my employers and bosses; it would be inappropriate for me to answer back to them,” he added.
An MP faulted his colleagues going after the party officials yet they were the ones who spearheaded the campaigns once the candidates for Kiambaa and Muguga ward by-election was unveiled.
It has emerged that Tuju, Murathe and Governor Nyoro were sidelined in the campaigns especially after the Juja by-election where Jubilee’s Susan Waititu lost to George Koimburi of People Empowerment Party (PEP), an outfit associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.
Murathe has confirmed that they will take stock of the performance of the party in the by-election and the leaders in charge will be held to account.
“The secretariat was sidelined to allow the new team to deliver. They wanted to prove something. They will have to account for their performance. A lot went into it,” said Murathe.
He argued that even Raila Odinga’s ODM party lost to David Ochieng’s Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) in Ugenya, his stronghold, adding that people should not read too much into the losses.
“People didn’t bash the ODM secretariat for the Ugenya loss,” said a Jubilee MP who declined to be named.
Murathe downplayed the Kiambaa loss, saying it was a normal by-election and the electorate had chosen UDA’s John Njuguna Wanjiku.
But Kega and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja have vowed that heads must roll at the Pangani headquarters for the survival of the outfit that swept to power by merging 13 political parties in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.
Kega said the loss in Kiambaa was enough to necessitate a clean-up in the secretariat by allowing new faces to run the affairs of the party.
“We have to do restructuring of the party; some heads must roll. We have to start afresh as a party in preparation for 2022 General Election. The officials have to be held accountable for any act of omission or commission that has cost the party,” said Kega.
Sakaja said the top officials have to account for their stay in office as well as the strategies they have in place to revamp the party.
Wambugu also weighed in on the Jubilee loss, arguing that it was a loss for both factions of Jubilee.
“Imagine for a second if both Jubilee sides had been campaigning together. We would have had 99.5 per cent of the votes in both places. This is what (Deputy President William) Ruto would have inherited had he just been patient,” said Wambugu.
Speaking on the same issue, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale and Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, both allied to Ruto, have described Jubilee as beyond rescue.
“In our second term in office, Jubilee was hijacked by non-elected leaders. These people started running the party outside the spirit of the party. They started dictatorship and expulsion of members. Even the deputy party leader was declared a persona non-grata,” said Duale.
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