Quit Jubilee now, David Murathe tells DP Ruto

Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe has claimed that the thwarting of a plot by Deputy President William Ruto to ultimately install himself as the party’s presidential candidate in the next polls through ‘puppet officials’ is the genesis of the bad blood between him and a section of officials.

Responding to a hard tackle by Dr Ruto on Thursday night in a Citizen TV interview,  Mr Murathe on Friday said he understands the DP’s frustrations since they stopped him in his tracks, in the process scuttling his game plan.

“The DP had been positioning his people strategically. They were going to organise some sham grassroots election the way they rigged the party nomination, install their own people all the way from constituency to county levels so that once national party organs are convened, they endorse him as the candidate. We had to rescue the party from such machination.”

“The party has been hijacked by busybodies, conmen and brokers… like Murathe and company, people who have no clue on our philosophy, they were nowhere, we appointed them to those positions, their word has now become the party position,” DP Ruto said in the interview.

Key party organs

Mr Murathe, however, insists that all Jubilee officials are serving on interim basis and that the DP had no right to accuse anyone of not being an elected official.

“Yeye alichaguliwa na nani? (Who elected him?) Tell me, who elected him as the deputy party leader. Everybody is an interim official,” he said.

Mr Murathe said the DP kick started a plan to take over all the key party organs in the run up to the 2017 General Election when, “he manipulated nomination process to hand a number of candidates sympathetic to his State House ambition Jubilee tickets”.

The DP accuses a cabal in the Office of the President (OP) of hatching a plot to frustrate his ambition of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta once his terms in office ends.

And in a typical case of the die being cast, and with DP for the first time declaring that the battle line has been drawn, Mr Murathe not only dared him to quit the ruling party but also said they were not yet done with him.

“Mambo bado, hii ni kionjo tu. You wait, atajua hajui (The game has yet to start, what you have seen is only a test run. We’ll prove to him that he’s not as smart as he thinks),” Mr Murathe charged.

The party had initially planned to hold the elections by March, but a letter by the Registrar of Political parties Anne Nderitu on the guidelines it needed to adhere to seemed to have changed the course, with Secretary-General Raphael Tuju asking for a postponement.

Ms Nderitu asked the party to verify its membership list, including publishing it for verification by members, put in place an election board as well as a dispute resolution mechanism, and map out polling centres.

“Were it not for that, everyone was going to be subjected to an election, including the DP. Until the SG’s office is done with the preparations, there would be no elections,” Mr Murathe said.

Hinting that he had options in the event that his push to wrest control of the party comes a cropper, the DP is likely to face growing voices from within to toe the line or ship out.

“I believe there is a chance to sort out our issues in Jubilee. It would be tragic if we were to lose Jubilee…If Jubilee is hijacked by the brokers, we will make the decision at that point,” he added.

The Saturday Nation has learnt that the DP has, through proxies, registered at least two political parties as possible vehicles to run on should he exhaust his options in the ruling party.

Insubordination

The newly registered parties, United Green Party (UGP) and Grand Dream Development Party (GDDP), are associated with MPs Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret) and Caleb Kositany (Soi), who is also Jubilee deputy secretary general).

All are Mr Ruto’s allies. “We gather that he wants to bolt out. He is free to do so and form another party. This one has its owners. I heard him call us junior fellows in the party, how do junior people run one out of town surely?” Mr Murathe posed.

The divide between the DP and President Kenyatta keeps growing by the day. When he addressed the nation on Wednesday, the President declared that time was ripe to change the constitution, addressing its weak areas.

But the DP retorted that changing the laws should not be the country’s priority, sentiments that have reportedly caused concern among the President’s men, with some accusing him of insubordination.

Lately, DP Ruto has adopted ‘play victim’ messaging as he comes under scathing attack from some of the allies of Mr Kenyatta. A section of his handlers believe the strategy will translate into public support, at least out of sympathy, in the run up to election.

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