National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and a perceived Jubilee party rebel owing to his close relationship with Deputy President William Ruto might survive the ongoing purge targeted at Ruto allies in Parliament.
Sources in the know have revealed that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s men, Jubilee party Vice-chairman David Murathe and Speaker Justin Muturi, are keen to save Duale from losing his seat despite calls from the President’s Kieleweke allies to kick him out for supporting Ruto’s 2022 ambitions.
According to Murathe, despite being sympathetic to the DP’s 2022 ambitions, the Garissa Township MP has been effective in pushing the government’s agenda in the House and should be given a second chance.
Murathe, a Ruto critic, says there is nothing to suggest that the lawmaker had let the President down in his agenda.
As majority leader since Jubilee clinched the presidency in 2013, Duale has helped secure House approval for government Bills and motions despite a hostile opposition, especially in Uhuru’s first term in office.
“We do not care about the legislators’ political persuasions, we want a team that is focused and that would help the president in his quest to leave a lasting legacy,” Murathe told The Standard in an interview yesterday.
Murathe is regarded as one of Uhuru’s closest allies in the Mount Kenya region.
He is among leaders from the region keen to block Ruto from ascending to power in 2022.
It’s believed that with support from Speaker Muturi he might succeed to convince the president to spare Duale in the purge targeted at clipping the DP’s wings.
In the ongoing lobbying, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju is among members keen to oust Duale.
Reports indicate that Tuju is keen to silence perceived Ruto loyalists in the National Assembly just like he recently did in the Senate.
“We are not in the business of just issuing threats to people. There is no turning back on the matter of disloyal members. How do you punish some disloyal members but spare others,” Tuju said recently.
Duale is among Ruto allies who wrote protest letters to the Registrar of Political Parties to challenge controversial Jubilee appointments in the National Management Committee (NMC).
Commenting on the matter, vocal Kieleweke member and Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said that MPs in Tanga Tanga camp should all be shown the door for being disloyal to the party and the President.
Some, however, like Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege say the President would have the final say on Duale case.
“It is the decision of the party leader that will prevail, ” she said.
Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama said Duale should be spared because of his experience adding that his performance is impressive.
“The work of Majority Leader is not that easy, and I can tell you that there is a general view that Duale has performed well in pushing the government agenda,” he said.
“The president will have the final say. Personally, I have no issue with him continuing to serve the party in the National Assembly because he has delivered well and I don’t think the party can get a better replacement.”
Also targeted in the National Assembly changes next week Tuesday is Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali.
Word has it that the Mumiasi East MP will be kicked out just like Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru) who were stripped of their majority leader and chief whip positions respectively recently.
Other Ruto men, who found themselves victims of the parliament changes include Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, who was kicked out as Senate Deputy Speaker and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Bomet’s Christopher Lang’at and Laikipia’s John Kinyua who were removed from key committees in the Senate.
The National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition also recently de-whipped errant members in the National Assembly including Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Chris Wamwalwa (Kiminini) from house committees over links with Ruto.