In Summary
  • Mr Murathe declared early in the year that he is opposed to a Ruto presidency and would do everything constitutional and within his power to stop him.
  • As was seen in the Wajir and Embakasi by-elections, Mr Ruto is keen to claim the Kibra win and use it to consolidate support.

The Jubilee Party secretariat is in turmoil as two camps – one allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and another to his deputy William Ruto – fight for control of the three-year-old outfit.

The vicious war that has seen officials openly work at cross-purposes is expected to climax in March next year during party elections.

Those loyal to Mr Ruto, who believe they have the numbers in the branches across the country, are keen to replace secretary-general Raphael Tuju, who is also a Cabinet minister without portfolio.

The Mr Ruto is on record wondering how Mr Tuju, a party spokesman, could become a strategist for Opposition leader Raila Odinga while reacting to a story recently published by a daily.

It is an open secret that there is no love lost between the two, with Mr Tuju said to hold brief for Mr Kenyatta in the party affairs.

President Kenyatta is the leader of the ruling party and Mr Ruto his deputy.

Even though Mr Ruto has led members in denials that there was a problem in the party and blamed the media for “creating a non-existent war”, intense infighting has persisted.

MINI POLL

The declaration that it will field a candidate in the Kibra by-election on November 7 has further exposed internal conflicts in the party.

Barely a few hours after Mr Tuju issued a statement asking aspirants to apply for the party’s ticket on Monday, a letter purportedly authored by him was sent to the electoral agency bearing five names, including that of former football star McDonald Mariga.

Others who were listed among the party’s aspirants included Morris Peter Kinyanjui, Mikinyingi Walter Trenk, Said Ibrahim and Doreen Nangame Wasike.

It is the emergence of this list that has further exposed underlying tension within the party, resulting from a perceived cold war between Mr Kenyatta and his deputy.

The Sunday Nation has learnt of how DP arm-twisted the party into fielding a candidate in Kibra.

The initial indication had been that they would support Raila Odinga’s ODM party in the spirit of ‘the handshake’.

The Kibra seat fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth, who had been elected on an ODM ticket in the past two elections.

SUPPORT

But on realisation that Mr Ruto was going to rally a good section of Jubilee leaders to give ODM a run for its money by fronting a candidate, and to avoid a situation where Jubilee leaders were campaigning for different candidates, the party’s top leadership changed its mind and will now field a candidate.

One of the aspirants in the list sent to the polls agency, names that Mr Tuju later disowned, admitted that he had been approached by some high-ranking members of the party and persuaded to declare interest.

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