Kenya: Jubilee Has No Automatic Candidate for 2022, Says Tuju

9 October 2019

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has allayed fears of a falling-out with Deputy President William Ruto.

He has, at the same time reiterated that the party has no automatic candidate in the 2022 presidential race and that every Jubilee member stands an equal chance.

"I will be ready to receive every individual who will express his or her interest in fighting for the position if I will still be the party's SG at that time," said Mr Tuju.

He was speaking Tuesday night on Citizen TV.

LEAKED AUDIO

Mr Tuju stated that his relationship with Dr Ruto remains cordial and that of respect, saying that the leaked audio of his conversation with former Limuru MP George Nyanja purportedly scheming on how to scuttle the DP's 2022 presidential bid was manipulated.

At the same time, the former Rarieda MP said the party may not crack the whip on rebel members any time soon as it has adopted a tolerant approach.

Mr Tuju explained that his "hands are tied" when it comes to such matters, saying that as the secretary-general he is not instituting any disciplinary actions to errant members.

He said it is only the party's national executive council (Nec) that can make a decision to expel or discipline any dissenting member.

There has been a growing concern over the silence of the Jubilee leaders in the wake of open defiance by a section of its members on the party's position on various issues with a case in point being the Kibra by-election.

SUPPORT IMRAN

A number of Jubilee members have come out in support of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Bernard Imran Okoth despite the ruling party also having its own candidate, McDonald Mariga.

Over the weekend, nominated MP Maina Kamanda, former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi took the defiance a notch higher by openly drumming up support for Imran.

Other party members including Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Rachel Shebesh have also overtly said they will support the ODM candidate.

DISCIPLINARY ISSUES

Mr Tuju said that those are not the only disciplinary issues Jubilee is grappling with, confirming that the party has been inundated by a number of complaints concerning the conduct of some of its members.

He gave examples of Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who are on the spot over their utterances concerning the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects and Mau evictions.

"We have decided to exercise a lot of tolerance because if we were to take action then there will be a lot of people that would be out of the party. We can only take such actions after NEC meeting but I cannot take action as the secretary-general," he said.

He pointed out that the party's rules dictate that members should support a stand it takes but admitted that the current challenges that Jubilee is facing are as a result of a deeper problems in the political space in Kenya whose only remedy is legislation in Parliament.

MARIGA

Mr Tuju reiterated that Mariga is the party's bona fide candidate and has the full support of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"I can confirm that the President is supporting Mariga and he was not sneaked into State House as some people are insinuating. I was there and I am the one who took him there," he said.

Over the weekend, a section of Jubilee Party leaders allied to the Kieleweke team claimed that the former footballer does not have the head of State's blessings and that he was imposed on the residents by the deputy president.

He defended the step to field a candidate in the upcoming by-election, saying the decision was taken because the party stands a chance in the race and has nothing to do with the Handshake, which he said most people have misunderstood its purpose.

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