Uhuru ignores Ruto’s call for party meeting

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Uhuru ignores Ruto’s call for party meeting
President Kenyatta will not heed calls by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies to convene a Jubilee party meeting anytime soon.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena Tuesday said President Kenyatta had said he was focused on the development agenda of his administration and not politics.

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SUCCESSION

“The question on Jubilee meeting is political. And like my boss has said before, we are not going to delve into political issues,” said Ms Dena during a bi-weekly press briefing at State House.

“If, at all, the party calls a meeting, then it will happen,” said the head of Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU).

This has thrown the party into confusion, with members saying time was running out for the party that is facing imminent death or a union with another party that will come with its own demands and baggage.

 

On Sunday, Dr Ruto added his voice to calls for the party to put its house in order. Politicians allied to the Deputy President in the Tangatanga movement have been pressuring the Head of State to convene a meeting to discuss a host of issues affecting the party.

The leaders have accused the party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju of taking sides and working with Dr Ruto’s perceived enemies. They want him removed from the position. Among the thorny issues facing the party is the division  caused by the March 2018 handshake between Mr Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga and 2022 succession plans.

Speaking at the St Luke Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Embakasi East Constituency, Dr Ruto said that such a meeting would renew the party’s primary function of uniting and transforming Kenya, delivering on pledges and cementing its position. The meeting would also remind leaders that they must work together, said the Deputy President.

ISOLATION

Ms Dena’s statement drew criticism from some of the DP’s allies. Kericho and Nandi senators, Mr Aaron Cheruiyot and Samson Cherargei, said they would wait to hear the views expressed from the horse’s mouth (President Kenyatta).

“We are waiting for a word from President Kenyatta himself because he is our party leader. There are things that can only be addressed at his level,” said Mr Cheruiyot.

Mr Cherargei said: “That’s a party leadership decision to be made by the party leader, deputy party leader and parliament leadership. It isn’t an executive decision.”

Barely a year after the 2017 General Election, high-octane politics commenced following the peace pact between the President and the former Prime Minister, with Dr Ruto’s allies questioning his isolation from the agreement.

The discomfort has mostly been felt in the President’s Mt Kenya backyard, where some leaders have accused him of failing to deliver on development projects. The region’s leadership is now torn between supporting the President (team Kieleweke) and his deputy (team Tangatanga).

The leaders have expressed concerns that the party is on the verge of collapse. They paint a picture of a party on its political deathbed despite the razzmatazz witnessed during its launch.

MPs led by Moses Kuria (Gatundu) Peter Kimari (Mathioya) Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga) Charles Mwangi (Mt Kenya region representative for County Assemblies Forum and Jubilee caucus chair in Murang’a) have said there are no signs of rejuvenation and, to remain relevant in 2022, Jubilee needs to enter into pre-election deals with existing parties such as ODM and Wiper Democratic Movement.

By ANITA CHEPKOECH and By NDUNG’U GACHANE

nation.co.ke

Source Daily Nation

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