While President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga believe that the political truce has united the nation, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale thinks the opposite is true.
In a recent interview with Sunday Nation, the Garissa Township Member of Parliament divulged that the March 9, 2018, handshake, that was meant to quell political tension in the country after the disputed 2017 election, has left the nation divided more than ever.
The vocal lawmaker stated whereas the President might have meant good for the nation for reaching out to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader, it’s unfortunate that the initiative has left the Jubilee party in shambles.
The handshake, that gave birth to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), according to the lawmaker, has the President’s supporters and Kenyans at large divided.
The truce, Duale says, has also left deep divisions in the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition that rooted for a Raila Presidency.
Although not formally dissolved, NASA, whose co-principals during the 2017 election were Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, “died” over a year ago.
“It has destroyed Jubilee’s internal political bridges, destabilised our party’s political strongholds, undermined the constitutional office holders, and has killed Nasa (National Super Alliance) bridges, ” Duale is quoted by the daily.
“It has sowed seeds of discord, caused confusion and political tensions that have seen the emergence of political gangs, abuse of the rule of law by civil servants and disenfranchisement of communities.”
The divisions in the ruling Jubilee party have led to the rise of two camps, pro-Deputy President William Ruto team Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke faction aligned to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The differences became clear during the recent Kibra by-election where most of the Kieleweke members supported ODM candidate Imran Okoth instead of the Jubilee party candidate McDonald Mariga, who the DP and team campaigned for. Mariga lost to Imran in the hotly contested parliamentary seat.
Duale is not the first jubilee leader to criticize the handshake between the party leader and Raila. His Gatundu South counterpart Moses Kuria and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen are some of the leaders who have come out strongly to say that the agreement had brought divisions in the party.
On Saturday, Murkomen, a fierce critic of Raila, said that the former Prime Minister was not honest on the role of Prime Minister in BBI and the report that was recently unveiled at the Bomas of Kenya.
The Senate Majority Leader claims the position will only serve to create wrangles between the President and the Deputy President.
He said the new role was not “anticipated” in the old constitution further slamming Raila for what he termed disrespecting DP Ruto.
“How can you possibly respect the PM who plays no key role in the political victory of the President if you can’t respect the DP who formed a political coalition with President”.
He added, “For as long as we ground our politics on deception&craftiness we shall be having first terms characterized by Obama-Biden bromance&second terms full of wrangles targeted at finishing DP&the DP fighting for survival. We better scrap running mate position until we become honest”.
Creating a PM position in our deceitful political environment will serve to create wrangles Btw 1.President & DP, 2.President&PM ,3.DP&PM. Anyway leteni BBI tupitishe. @ahmednasirlaw
— KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) December 28, 2019
Murkomen was responding to Raila’s interview with Citizen TV aired on Friday night where the ODM leader said that the BBI will give parliament the mandate to vet and approve a PM.
On the other hand, Moses Kuria has in the past maintained that the only solution to chaos witnessed after every election is Uhuru going home with Raila after 2022.
The chaos, he said, is as a result of Raila not conceding defeat after every five years.