MESSY DIVORCE

Ruto's final blow as Uhuru unveils new NEC

Uhuru to constitute lean NEC team of less than 35 members.

In Summary
  • The move will technically kick out his Deputy William Ruto from the heart of the party.
  • Decision comes a month after Kenyatta seized control of another crucial party organ, the national management committee.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will unveil a fresh Jubilee national executive council on Thursday, technically kicking out his deputy William Ruto from the heart of the party.

NEC is the nerve centre of Jubilee with sweeping powers to enforce party discipline and oversee the work of the party's parliamentary group.

"You are either with the President or not. If you are with the President you have to toe the line and support his development agenda. The President has nothing personal with anyone. All he wants is to develop the country and we will work with like-minded people to achieve that," said Jubilee  secretary general Raphael Tuju.

 
 
 

President Kenyatta had for months been warning Ruto and his allies against politicking instead focusing on developing the country.

But fed up, Kenyatta first kicked out Ruto from Central Kenya by addressing issues his deputy and his supporters were using to campaign against his administration.

He then sacked Mwangi Kiunjuri, Ruto's ally, from the powerful agriculture docket.

Two weeks ago the Jubilee party leader kicked out Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and last Friday, the Senate removed Kithure Kindiki for disobeying the President.

The new move comes a month after Kenyatta seized control of another crucial party organ, the national management committee, triggering a protracted political duel in Jubilee.

The latest move will send Ruto back to the drawing board as the powerful organs could easily edge him out of the party and deny him the presidential ticket in 2022.

On Tuesday, Tuju warned that the Jubilee Party was going to be merciless in dealing with Ruto's allies in the coming days.

 
 
 

Those targeted include Soy MP Caleb Kositany, a close ally of the DP whom Tuju accused of illegally using the Jubilee Party letterheads.

Kositany who is the deputy SG used the party letterheads to send letters to the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu contradicting the party.

 

He also sent a couple of letters to county assemblies challenging the decisions communicated by Tuju who is his boss.

“Some are even using, without the authority of the party, stationary of the party not coming from this office but coming from wherever they are coming from and expecting that we are going to allow that dysfunctionality. I am sorry that they are mistaken and disciplinary action will be taken on them,” Tuju said.

“We will take those matters to the disciplinary committee. We will pursue them to the logical conclusion and where we feel that we need the NEC to deal with them we shall deal with those errant members."

The new-look NEC would include national officials, members of the national management committee, select leaders from Parliament and some officials of the defunct parties that formed Jubilee.

The Star has established that Uhuru's new NEC would be a lean team with less than 35 members.

The current NEC is bloated and was envisioned to consist of some party organs that have never been established, such as chairperson of the national business council.

Sources said the new-look NEC would be tasked with approving far-reaching changes to the leadership of the party in National Assembly as well as sanctioning disciplinary action on errant members.

On Tuesday, Jubilee announced changes to key committees in the Senate with most of Ruto's lieutenants being the casualties. 

Among those removed from committee leadership are  Samson Cherargei (chair Justice and Legal affairs), Christopher Lang'at (chair Education) and John Kinyua (chair Devolution).

The axe is now expected to move to the National Assembly.

The President's allies are said to have worked on a list of fresh new national officials that alienate Ruto's wing, technically leaving the DP- a key founder of the outfit - without a party.

Analysts say the move could completely dim the DP's chances of flying the Jubilee presidential ticket in the 2022 General Election following an aggressive onslaught by Uhuru.

The five new NMC members Lucy Macharia, Marete Marangu, Walter Nyambati, Jane Nampaso and James Waweru will also be part of the NEC after their appointments were upheld despite protests.

The 11-member NMC chaired by Jubilee chairman Nelson Dzuya will hold its first meeting on Wednesday to draw up what an insider termed as "sweeping" agenda for the NEC.

All the national office bearers are automatically members of the party's NEC but concerns that some of them were allied to Ruto informed the major shakeup.

Tuju who spoke at the Jubilee headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, said MPs were expected to have utmost fidelity to the party and subscribe to the code of conduct they signed when they ran for elections.

“They hanged on the goodwill of the party to get their positions. For them to now change tack midstream is nothing but betrayal of the party,” Tuju affirmed.

But Soy Kositany told the Star that he didn't care whether he was replaced as deputy SG.

“Let them go ahead and replace me. I don't care because what I have been doing is to correct the illegalities done by Tuju,” Kositany said.

He said that he owed allegiance first to the people of Soy who elected him and not the party where some elements he said were hellbent on breaking the law.

“If the people of Soy are unhappy with my work then I would be worried,” he said, adding that the Jubilee Party must follow its own constitution to the letter.

Kimilili MP Didmas Barasa warned that some elements within the "deep state" were determined to block Ruto from ascending to power because they fear his presidency will not entertain making deals.

“Some people are controlling the President and have realised that Ruto can not play ball to their deals if he is elected. These people have been defrauding investors and want someone they can hold at ransom,” he told the Star.

The vocal Ruto ally warned that anybody who doesn't want to follow the Jubilee constitution can even overthrow the country's Constitution.

"We have no problem with them reconstituting NEC as long as they follow the law,” he said.

Tuju insisted that members aggrieved with the decisions taken by the party so far can appeal before the NEC which will be unveiled.

“If anybody has objections with decisions that we have taken so far then he would be free to raise them at the NEC meeting,” he said.

Tuju's tough remarks aimed at Ruto's allies lifted the lid on impending sweeping actions by the party on rebels as the President moves to take charge of the party.