Details have emerged on events that led to Deputy President William Ruto supporting the Jubilee party’s decision not to field a candidate in the forthcoming Msambweni by-election after storming the party’s Headquarters in Pangani to protest the move.
The DP rushed to the party headquarters on Wednesday moments after Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju issued a statement indicating that the party had decided not to participate in the by-election scheduled for December 15.
Tuju had cited prevailing conditions including the possible dissolution of parliament over the two-thirds gender rule and the fact that the seat was previously held by an ODM member, Suleiman Dori, who succumbed to cancer in March.
Sources in the know have disclosed that after Ruto arrived, Tuju placed a call to President Uhuru Kenyatta, where the second in command was told to toe the party line.
The sources say that the call was put on loudspeaker for the three to discuss the reason for not fielding a candidate.
“We were all told to leave the boardroom for the two immediately the phone call was made,” an official present at the Jubilee office, who sought anonymity told the Standard.
Tuju reportedly took Ruto through an internal document prepared by the party, with Uhuru, who was in Mombasa, listening in.
“He was told it was a party decision not to field a candidate. It was on this basis that the party leader was called to tell him as much,” another source revealed saying Ruto said he had not been consulted.
The call that lasted about 30 minutes shattered Ruto’s plan for a duel with ODM leader Raila Odinga in the Msambeni by-election like it was the case in the Kibra mini-poll last year. The DP walked out a dejected man.
In a press statement he issued after the call, Ruto announced that he had decided to support the party position although he was for the position that Jubilee ought to have participated in the poll.
“I was of a different view on the party fielding a candidate in Msambweni but because a decision has already been made and communicated to the public, we will all stand by that decision that those who had intentions of vying on a Jubilee ticket in Msambweni will now look for alternatives may be run as independent candidates or in other political parties,” the DP said.
It has now emerged that the DP is likely to support late Suleiman Dori’s former Personal Assistant (PA) Feisal Abdallah Bader in the mini-poll.
Yesterday, the DP hosted Abdallah, who will be running as an independent candidate, at his Karen office. He was accompanied by Coast MPs including; Athman Shariff (Lamu East), Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga) and Aisha Jumwa of Malindi.
Ruto’s decision to endorse Bader was surprising given he was with Mariam Sharlete, who had expressed interest to vie for the seat on a Jubilee ticket, at the party headquarters on Wednesday.
Sharlet Mariam, a former ODM party member, had stormed the party headquarters demanding her nomination papers.
Ruto had promised to help her in her campaigns, but if she sought his help
“We should have given the good lady here (Mariam) together with others a chance. But because of the decision that has already been made I sympathize with Madam Mariam…” said Ruto
“Akiniongelesha vizuri na kwa sababu sasa hatuna candidate kule Msambweni naweza kumsaidia.”