Raphael Tuju rubbishes DP Ruto’s announcement and deadline

People are expressing their ambitions and fighting for their space-Tuju

File image of Jubilee party secretary general Raphael Tuju

Jubilee party Secretary General Raphael Tuju has rubbished a recent announcement by Deputy President William Ruto in which he declared that the party will go to the polls early next year to elect new officials before March 2022.

Tuju rubbished DP Ruto’s announcement and dismissed the March 2020 deadline, insisting that only the National Executive Committee (NEC) is mandated to plan and schedule grassroot polls and that the polls can be spread out over the three year period.

Commenting on the frequent disagreements and deep divisions within the party, Tuju told the Standard that they are healthy for internal democracy.

“I would honestly be very worried if we did not have these political differences and turbulence. If all was quiet, I would be disturbed because ours is a political outfit.

“What this means is that people are expressing their ambitions and fighting for their space. These conflicts are good for the party,” Tuju stated.

Electing new officials has proved to be a contentious issue within the party amidst reports of an alleged coup plot  by DP Ruto’s allies to wrestle the party from President Uhuru Kenyatta and his confidants who are believed to be pulling the shots within the party.

Wrestling the party from President Kenyatta's allies

Reports indicate that DP Ruto’s team is keen on having the polls by March next year to kick out officials seen to be opposed to DP Ruto’s 2022 bid and installing loyalist who will advance his 2022 political agenda.

Current officials led by Secretary General Raphael Tuju and former vice chair David Murathe have in the past been singled out as obstacles to DP Ruto’s 2022 bid.

Perhaps aware of the coup plot, Jubilee A (as the wing allied to President Kenyatta is referred to in political circles) are not keen on holding a party meeting as demanded by the Tangatanga wing.

So deep are the divisions that a host of elected and nominated Jubilee party leaders have openly endorsed ODM’s Bernard Okoth for the Kibra constituency by-elections despite the party fielding McDonald Mariga for the seat.

Despite the numerous squabbles and demands for a party meeting to sort out the issues threatening to sink the party that was launched with fanfare in 2016, party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to yield to the demands.

The party has also not held a Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting since President Kenyatta’s re-election in 2017. 

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