The fight in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party continued to escalate yesterday after Secretary-General Raphael Tuju drew a line in the sand, daring Deputy President William Ruto’s allies to “bring it on.”
This, as DP’s allies hit back, alleging a state-sponsored propaganda targeting Dr Ruto that they said was aimed at discrediting the country’s second-in-command.
Mr Tuju, who has borne the brunt of the attacks from the DP’s team that see him as a stumbling block in their quest to control the party, dismissed plans for a parliamentary group meeting anytime soon.
He accused Dr Ruto’s allies of pushing for the meeting as a means to solve issues he said were unrelated to the running of the party.
“People have been going around issuing ultimatums to the President and the party that we need to do such and such or else…Let us see that or else of yours,” Mr Tuju said in a phone interview.
Mr Tuju dismissed as fake a list circulating on social media of 58 MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta said to have been invited for a parliamentary meeting in State House.
“It is fake news. There is no parliamentary group meeting of any kind,” he said. He accused the Ruto group, which has been pushing for the meeting, of having ulterior motives.
“These people have extraneous issues unrelated to the party and now they want to use a parliamentary group meeting to settle them. It is not that they want a PG at all, they just want to prosecute other issues outside of the party,” Mr Tuju said.
Led by Mr Tuju’s deputy Caleb Kositany, the Ruto wing of Jubilee has demanded that President Kenyatta calls a National Executive Committee or a Parliamentary Group meeting failure to which “we will call members because a party has to be run through structures.”
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri told President Kenyatta that his administration will be charged harshly should he continue to use tribal politicians to undermine his deputy.
“You came to Jubilee and now you want to control our party? As who? You failed in your party. You have never succeeded in forging unity wherever you go,” Mr Ngunjiri told Mr Tuju.
“You have not even called for National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to address all the party issues,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
Party members have never met since 2017, when President Kenyatta hosted a parliamentary group meeting where he chose members to chair different committees in the House.