The anticipated cracks on the ruling Jubilee party could come early, as leaders from the party express different views on the 2022 succession politics, which seemed automatic from the start.
In the new development, Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju said that it will not be an automatic affair for Deputy President William Ruto, who has declared his interest in succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta upon the expiry of his two terms in 2022.
In 2013 during presidential campaigns, Kenyatta said that anyone who would like to become the President of Kenya would have “to wait for me(Kenyatta) to complete his ten years and Ruto to complete his ten at the helm.
However, since his reelection, the president has always shunned the topic especially after his newfound truce with opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Jubilee party members especially from Central have seemed to change the tune, saying that they are not indebted to Ruto come 2022.
For Tuju who spoke to Citizen TV, it is not an entitlement for Ruto to get the party backing come 2022.
According to Tuju, choice of candidate is governed by the party’s constitution which makes no mention of an automatic presidential ticket.
“We have a president who is the party leader and we have a deputy President who is the deputy party leader… So that line -up is there, but we also have a constitution indicating how we appoint our candidate for a presidential candidacy and as far as I am concerned nothing has changed,” said Tuju.
The discussion has been going on for some time, with most MPs allied to Jubilee Party declaring that the choice of Ruto as the 2022 flag-bearer will be pegged on his loyalty to the President.
“Even President Uhuru Kenyatta… It was not automatic that he was going to be the party candidate as at the time we were going for elections. We had to have a national delegates conference,” added Tuju.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu has severally rubbished the automatic support for Ruto come 2022.
“We will also revisit many issues that will happen during the next four years when we go to make decisions in 2022. (For example when the President asks MPs to distribute committee leadership positions in Parliament inclusively to ensure we have a good balance and some refuse to heed his call, we note this and will revisit),” he said in one of his columns in a local daily.
The recent to add fuel to the fire of 2022 succession politics is the party’s vice-chairperson David Murathe, who said that Ruto should stop thinking that Kikuyu’s owe him the presidency seat in 2022.
He said that the MoU between Ruto and Uhuru was a personal agreement and does not involve the party as a whole.
Being in a position that he could authoritatively speak for the party, this sparked a debate within the party members, publicly showing early divisions within the party.
On the lead to oppose Murathe’s sentiments was Kirinyaga governor Ann Waiguru who called for party elections to oust Murathe.
“It is imperative, and in order, that the Jubilee Party hold party elections soonest possible, to forestall internal divisions, and ensure that statements are made by Elected Party Officials, and that they infact represent the views of the Jubilee Party as a whole,” she said in a statement.
In response to Waiguru’s remark, Murathe said she needs to familiarise herself with the party Constitution.
“Please acquaint yourself with the party Constitution Article 33 (5) on the transition clause. Tuju retires in 2020. The operative word is “shall”. Unless you want to amend the party Constitution. Mine, you can have on a silver platter even tomorrow. Join the rabid attack dogs,” Tweeted Murathe.
Other leaders who have dismissed Murathe’s remarks are Nandi senator Samson Cherargei and former Kiambu governor William Kabogo.
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