In Summary
  • Ruto is confident of emerging Jubilee’s flagbearer because he has the numbers within its organs.
  • Although there are signs all is not well within Jubilee party, the DP has been going about his political business unshaken.

  • Mr Ruto has from the inception of Jubilee been covertly planting his allies in key organs.

Deputy President William Ruto’s confidence that he will emerge the Jubilee party presidential flagbearer is premised on one key condition; he has numbers within its organs.

It is a reality his detractors have come to appreciate too late in the day given the sheer number of friendly officials within the party.

And insiders now say his detractors are working hard to sway members of the various organs ahead of what promises to be a bruising battle to secure the party’s ticket ahead of the 2022 presidential election.

BOMBSHELL

The Deputy President was one of the proponents of a strong national political party and dissolved his own United Republican Party (URP) to form Jubilee.

Ten other parties were also dissolved in an unprecedented move which took more than one and half years to pull off. Even as it emerges that all is not well within the Jubilee party, Mr Ruto has been going about his political business totally unperturbed.

When Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe dropped a bombshell on December 26 that Mt Kenya region owed Mr Ruto no debt come 2022, this was viewed as a sign of a major rift in the party.

Jubilee — despite its supposed national outlook — owes its support bedrock to the North Rift and Mt Kenya regions and the withdrawal of one will largely weaken it.

On Thursday, when he met MCAs from Bomet and Vihiga counties at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu, Mr Ruto said he did not expect to be endorsed by anyone and would therefore present his candidature like all other aspirants for various positions.

But it is the machinations that may happen between now and the time Jubilee picks its 2022 presidential flagbearer that will determine the DP’s next move.

Kenya’s political history is replete with examples of hitherto powerful parties elbowing out political heavyweights whenever they become unpopular or threaten the party “owners” interests.

It is not lost to political observers how then Vice President George Saitoti and Opposition leader Raila Odinga were elbowed out of Kanu by former President Daniel arap Moi in the run-up to the 2002 General Election after they opposed the nomination of Uhuru Kenyatta as the party’s presidential candidate.

COVERTLY

Also edged out alongside the duo was its outspoken former secretary-general JJ Kamotho, former Cabinet minister William ole Ntimama and Nairobi Kanu supremo Fred Gumo.

These moves have led politicians, especially those harbouring presidential ambitions, to form or buy regional parties to pursue their goals instead of risking their careers in the so called national parties where they wield little influence.

It would seem that Mr Ruto — who had a front bench view of these Kanu and ODM machinations — has put the lessons in good use from the inception of Jubilee by covertly planting his allies in key organs.

For instance, majority of those who lost during the Jubilee party primaries, especially from the Mt Kenya region, still blame the DP for their predicament while many elected leaders have him to thank for their victories.

Murang’a senator and the party’s deputy chief whip in the Senate Irungu Kang’ata maintains that whoever controls the party organs will have the final say on the outcome of its elections.

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