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STRENGTHEN OR BREAK BONDS

Jubilee polls will be a test for party unity, Uhuru legacy

Polls likely to be noisy due to divisions within the house

In Summary

• Biggest headache of most presidents in democratic countries is how to steady their parties and parliaments. 

• President Kenyatta has behaved as though he's nonchalant about the party's role in leadership and deepening of democracy. 

DP William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
PARTY BOSSES: DP William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Image: FILE

When former President Mwai Kibaki was in power, he didn’t do much to strengthen his party of choice.

This almost cost him when Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu–then Kitui West MP–ran away with Narc–the party on whose ticket President Kibaki was first elected.

This saw him frantically scurry for a ticket to defend his seat. Were it not for his handlers and political diehards’ efforts, starting and marketing a party was not going to be a walk in the park, especially when mooted at the nick of elections. He was never bothered by many things politicians grumble about. He never took politics as a matter of life and death. He believes that while on stage, he did what he could possibly do but once in retirement, he must let others make their mark.

But this may not be true for President Uhuru Kenyatta. The biggest headache of most presidents in democratic countries is how to steady their parties and parliaments. President Kenyatta has behaved as though he’s nonchalant about the party’s role in leadership and deepening of democracy.

He seems to be giving undue advantage to civil servants, something that has seen frostiness in the relationship between politicians and hawkish bureaucrats who are growing overzealous if not overbearing. Jubilee Party must have its elections by March this year as per its Constitution.

The President is the party leader and must convene the top party organ to roll out the programme for the exercise. What’s disturbing is what his close allies are constantly and unguardedly saying.

If they represent Uhuru’s thinking then Jubilee will be in for noisy polls, something a president keen on cementing an enduring legacy should probably avoid.

 

Economic and political analyst