Ruto MPs make U-turn to starve Jubilee of cash

Tuju confirmed party received all the remittance from MPs for February

In Summary
  • National Assembly Clerk said a number of MPs have written rescinding the earlier decision.
  • Jubilee SG Tuju said the party has received February remittances.
Deputy President William Ruto with Tangatanga MPs at his Karen home on December 2.
BIG DECISION: Deputy President William Ruto with Tangatanga MPs at his Karen home on December 2.

Tough-talking MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto quietly rescinded their decision to stop their monthly contribution to Jubilee Party, the Star has established.

The move was triggered by fears that President Uhuru Kenyatta could move to crack the whip, expel the MPs and throw them into a difficult legal battle to save their seats, months to a General Election.

Uhuru has been uncompromising lately. He has engineered a ruthless purge against Ruto's men and challenged the DP himself to quit if dissatisfied.

On Tuesday, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai told the Star that a number of MPs wrote a second letter to his office rescinding their earlier decision to cut donations to Jubilee Party.

But in a change of strategy, the MPs are also donating to a welfare group dubbed "Kazi ni Kazi" said to be affiliated to Ruto's wheelbarrow party, the United Democratic Alliance. 

“There were further instructions to continue contributing the whole amount to Jubilee and also to welfare. A majority of them has done it (rescinded earlier communication), they are continuing to contribute to Jubilee as well as their welfare group,” Sialai said.

He, however, did not disclose the number of lawmakers who rescinded their earlier decision.

Governors, senators and MPs pay a Sh10,000 subscription fee to the Jubilee Party —about Sh2 million monthly.

Last month, about 100 MPs wrote to Sialai to stop their monthly deductions sent to Jubilee Party.

The letters were dispatched on the same day DP Ruto hosted the lawmakers at his Karen residence for a consultative meeting.

The decision to starve Jubilee of cash was meant to cripple the ruling party activities and operations to force the party to listen to their concerns on the manner the outfit is being run.

Yesterday, Jubilee Party secretary general Raphael Tuju laughed off attempts to starve the party of cash by a section of Jubilee legislators saying the move is political suicide.

He said party subscription is a demonstration that one is a member and any withdrawal is tantamount to resigning from the sponsoring party.

“According to the Political Parties Act, paying subscription is one of the things that shows that you are a member,” Tuju said on phone.

“It is very symbolic with the support to the party, when you withdraw support to the party which took you to Parliament you are walking in a very slippery legal ground. If somebody advised them otherwise and they changed their mind then they are well advised,” he said.

Tuju also confirmed that the party received all the remittance from the MPs for the month of February. “So far all the money is reflecting. Up to this point, we have received all the monies,” he said.

In cutting the subscriptions, the Tangatanga MPs who have been having a run-in with the ruling party, wanted to starve the party in protest against what they claim is growing dictatorship in the Uhuru-led party.

However, speaking to the Star, Soy MP Caleb Kositany and his Belgut counterpart Nelson Koech denied rewriting to the Speaker insisting that their direction to withhold their subscription stands.

Kositany and Koech are among those who last month wrote to the Clerk to reduce their Jubilee subscription.

“I don’t know about members who have written back, what I know is that it is effective with the March salary,” Kositany said on phone.

"Well I have never rescinded mine," added Koech.

Koech had directed that only Sh500 would go to the party while the rest be re-channelled to the welfare.

But Laikipia MP John Kinyua—another Ruto ally—said he never wrote to clerk to withhold subscriptions.

"I never wrote any letter to the clerk," Kinyua said.

Last month, the President's party kicked out six senators in a shocking purge of rebels allied to DP Ruto.

Those axed included nominated senators Isaac Mwaura, Millicent Omanga, Victor Prengei, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo and Mary Seneta Yiane.

They however moved to the Political Parties Tribunal and obtained temporary orders suspending the ouster.

On Monday, JP top decision making organ removed Ruto's man Kositany as the Deputy Secretary General.

The happenings at the ruling party has also caught the attention of Center of Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya)  which has raised concern with the infightings in the party.  

CMD-Kenya executive director Frank Mukwanja told the Star they are concerned with deteriorating situation at Jubilee.

“The members are aggrieved because of the internal party democracy struggles; you know very well Jubilee has not had good meetings. Both the party and the MPs are right and wrong,” Mukwanja said on phone.

“It is a worrying trend as it erodes intra party democracy. What is happening can be arrested if political parties are set up in a nice way that allows participatory approaches in decision making and setting party positions,” he added.

-Edited by Sarah Kanyara