In Summary
  • Mr Murathe on Saturday revived his anti-Ruto 2022 State House bid, insisting that the DP had a joint ticket with the President in 2013 and 2017 and should therefore step down in 2022.

  • The comments were quickly rebuked by Dr Ruto’s allies in the Rift Valley, with some lawmakers asking Mr Kenyatta to rein in Mr Murathe “or the President quits and joins Raila Odinga in the opposition”.

David Murathe was pushed out of his position as Jubilee vice-chairman Sunday following what insiders said was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention to prevent the vitriol against Deputy President William Ruto from splitting the ruling party.

The intervention, sources said, came after Dr Ruto called his boss in the morning demanding to know why Mr Murathe "is still a party official even with his views aimed at breaking Jubilee".

Seen as President Kenyatta’s voice and dyed-in-the-wool supporter, Mr Murathe on Saturday revived his anti-Ruto 2022 State House bid, insisting that the DP had a joint ticket with the President in 2013 and 2017 and should therefore step down in 2022.

NOT TENABLE

The comments were quickly rebuked by Dr Ruto’s allies in the Rift Valley, with some lawmakers asking Mr Kenyatta to rein in Mr Murathe “or the President quits and joins Raila Odinga in the opposition”.

There were also fears, following the rare, bare-knuckled press conference by Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, in which he openly blamed the President for the implosion in Jubilee.

The removal of Mr Murathe came as MPs from the ruling party were planning a meeting to discuss his conduct, amid calls for elections in Jubilee ahead of the interim officials' term ending in 2020.

On Sunday, Mr Murathe said his comments were personal and should not be misconstrued to mean he was speaking for Mr Kenyatta.

"I find that it is no longer tenable to stay on as the party vice chairman, given that I will have to sit in the same National Executive Council with a man I am taking to court to block from running for president," Mr Murathe told reporters at his Garden Estate home, Nairobi.

It was a decision welcomed by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot.

“Reckless utterances can often lead to chaos and unnecessary divisions. While freedom of expression is a protected right, incivility has no place in present-day Kenya or within Jubilee. We welcome the timely resignation of #MuratheResigns, as a matter of course!” Ms Waiguru said.

The Elgeyo-Marakwet senator tweeted: “Congratulations to Jubilee leader Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy leader Dr William Ruto for restoring order in the party. Tuko Pamoja.”

While he did not provide a letter confirming his decision, Mr Murathe said he had informed Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju about his move.

PRESIDENT'S VIEWS

Mr Murathe wants the Supreme Court to declare that since the DP automatically acts as president in the event that the incumbent is unable to discharge his functions, “it only means that the DP is a president using the mandate he is given during the election and so he should not be allowed to run for president after the two terms”.

He said there was no memorandum of understanding between President Kenyatta to back Dr Ruto for the top job in 2022.

“MoUs are public documents. I want to dare those who say there exists such a thing between Ruto and the President to produce it. Let them show it to us,” he said.

Mr Murathe added that he would not leave the party “but we are free people, and if a formation comes up that we like, we will move”.

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