Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday added to Deputy President William Ruto’s troubles when he said he will press charges of incitement and defamation against him.
This came as it emerged that Jubilee Party was mulling over taking disciplinary action against the DP.
What began as an accusation two weeks ago by Kalonzo that the DP appointed members of only one community to the Cabinet during the first and second terms of President Uhuru Kenyatta, has snowballed into a duel that is fast turning nasty.
A day after Kalonzo’s allegations, Ruto, while addressing a rally in Bomet, said there was a politician “whose only achievement in his 40-year political career was grabbed government land” in an apparent reference to the former vice president.
Yesterday, Kalonzo spent nearly three hours at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road, Nairobi, recording a statement over Ruto’s claims. He accused Ruto of, among other things, incitement and defamation and vowed to press charges.
The Wiper leader further accused the DP of abuse of office and giving false information and asked the DCI to investigate four complaints that he lodged with the police at the DCI headquarters yesterday.
Kalonzo said the DP had tarnished his name after he claimed that he (Kalonzo) had acquired a 200-acre parcel of land in Yatta, Machakos County, illegally.
These grave allegations will now form the basis of investigations that are expected to be completed in three or four weeks from now, according to the DCI.
As Kalonzo was breathing fire, David Murathe, the Jubilee Party vice chair, said the outfit was mulling over expelling the DP for ditching Jubilee in favour of the rebranded United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
It has been established that a seven-hour meeting of the National Management Committee (NMC) held on Thursday resolved that disciplinary action be taken against Ruto and his allies for associating themselves with UDA.
The meeting at Jubilee House, that started in the afternoon ran into the night, decided that the party’s disciplinary committee begin a probe into the deputy party leader, with a view of expelling him from the ruling party.
Murathe said they would look at the matter and those advancing the UDA agenda would lose their seats.
“Those leaders pushing for the agenda of UDA, including the DP himself, will lose their seats. Just wait, things are cooking,” he said.
Murathe said when one finds a party that is supposed to be a coalition partner fielding candidates against own candidates, there is no way they can claim to be part of them.
While citing the Political Parties Act, Murathe argued that maybe it is time to revisit the coalition agreement.
In October last year, the NMC recommended to the National Executive Council (NEC) that it takes action against the DP for storming Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi.
At that time, President Uhuru Kenyatta, the party leader, was away on official duty in France.
The latest developments come just a day after the Nakuru branch officials, led by secretary Peter Cheruiyot, recommended stern disciplinary action against the DP and his allies now subscribing to JP-affiliated UDA.
Though the recommendations of the NMC have not been made public, as the final decision lies with NEC chaired by the president, with Ruto in attendance, inside sources said that all is not well for the defiant members.
Raphael Tuju, the party’s secretary-general yesterday confirmed that the NMC meeting took place and termed it as a routine event for discussing party matters and reviewing progress.
“It is the prerogative of the party leader to convene the NEC meeting. There is nothing major to announce. We discussed a myriad of issues but it is premature to divulge them to the public through the media,” Tuju said while dismissing claims that the meeting discussed how to punish disobedient members.
“Nobody in the meeting can identify with some of the issues being rumoured. It is a continuous meeting and we deliberate on a myriad of issues, including the leadership in Parliament in helping to actualise the JP agenda.”
Tuju said the party will make public its decision in due course, but in the meantime, nothing serious has been firmed up. “We are still deliberating,” he said.
Those who attended the meeting included the chair Nelson Nzuiya, Tuju, new officials Lucy Nyawira, Jane Nampaso, Marete Marangu, Walter Nyambati and James Waweru.
At the DCI headquarters, Kalonzo arrived shortly after 9.30am with his lawyers James Orengo, Dan Maanzo, Mutula Kilonzo Jr and a group of supporters, including Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua.
He did not speak after spending three hours inside the DCI offices, but Orengo told journalists that they had received an assurance from DCI chief George Kinoti that the four complaints against the DP would be investigated.
Orengo said the DCI had informed them that the investigations would be complete in a period of between three and four weeks after recording statements with the DP on the allegations.
“We have received an assurance from the DCI that the DP will be made to record statements,” Orengo said.
The lawyers said they would consider four cases on incitement, threat to life, abuse of office and criminal libel.
Orengo said following the claims by the DP, a politician from the Ukambani region who is a Ruto supporter, had issued death threats against two of his colleagues, including the former VP.
However, Ruto’s confidant, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, dismissed Kalonzo’s allegations.
“So Kalonzo Musyoka is a real suspect? If he is a corruption suspect why did he choose to go to DCI and not EACC which has the specialised mandate on matters corruption? Can a suspect choose his investigator? The reason why he went to see Kinoti is simple – dry cleaning. Ignore!” Murkomen posted on Twitter.
Kalonzo also released a ten-point statement linking Ruto to about 10 scandals and demanded that the DP subjects himself to a lifestyle audit.
He also linked Ruto to large tracks of land in Taita Taveta.
Three days ago, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, a former Lands Minister came to Kalonzo’s defense, saying his ownership of the land Ruto was alluding to was above board.