President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee faction has turned its political guns on Deputy President William Ruto and his allies over their association with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). The politicians have termed Dp’s involvement with the newly formed party as ‘open defiance’ to the coalition under which he rose to power in the 2017 General Election.
Top Jubilee Party officials have broken their silence over the DP’s open association with UDA, and now want him and his troops kicked out of the ruling party for “undermining its interests.”
Even though DP Ruto’s allies have insisted that UDA, formerly known as the Party of Development and Reforms (PDR), is part of the Jubilee coalition courtesy of a pre-election pact, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe insists that it is illegal for it to front candidates against its candidates in the pending by-elections.
Mr Murathe spoke as a “show cause” letter addressed to the deputy president emerged yesterday, warning DP Ruto of impending disciplinary action over his association with UDA.
“Those leaders pushing for the agenda of UDA including the DP himself will lose their seats. Just wait, things are cooking,” said Mr Murathe yesterday.
“When you find a party that is supposed to be a coalition partner fielding candidates against your candidates, there is no way they can claim to be part of us and maybe it’s time to revisit the coalition agreement,” added Mr Murathe, an influential figure in the Jubilee hierarchy.
He cited the Political Parties Act in the underway plans to push out of Jubilee those associating with other parties other than those under which they were elected.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the party’s disciplinary committee is alive to the on goings.
“They are seized with this matter. They will deal with it and report to me and I will take them to the National Management Committee then the National Executive Committee will make a decision,” said Mr Tuju.
He pointed out that PDR was initially his Party of Action (POA) before it changed to PDR and now UDA.
The disciplinary letter authored by a Jubilee Nakuru branch official wants DP Ruto to show cause why he should not be penalised for associating with UDA. Nakuru branch Secretary-General Peter Mtumishi Cheruiyoit on Thursday said the leaders could face penalties for undermining the Jubilee Party. Political observers said Mr Cheruiyoit could be acting on the behest of top Jubilee officials.
The letter also called for disciplinary action against DP Ruto’s allies in Nakuru led by Senator Susan Kihika and Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri.
“It has come to my attention that on January 17,2021; while in the company of the deputy president William Ruto, you visited Ngata area, hosted and endorsed two candidates vying for the London and Hells’ Gate on a UDA ticket, when the Jubilee Party has fielded candidates in the two regions. This action undermines the Jubilee Party position and its identified nominees for the March 4 by-election, states Mr Cheruiyoit.
The letter emerged in a week when President Kenyatta attacked his deputy in a live radio interview on Monday. Mr Kenyatta accused him and his team of orchestrating a class war through his nationwide Hustler-Dynasty campaigns, and warned that he would not sit back and watch should they “disrupt peace in the Country.”
Senate deputy majority leader Fatuma Dullo, who won her Isiolo senate seat on a PDR ticket before Jubilee awarded her with the senate role, is now in dilemma after her party was transformed to UDA and is now spoiling for a fight with Jubilee.
“As a member of PDR I also just saw the change of name in the media. There has not been consultation as far as sitting members of parliament is concerned.”
“I was elected on PDR which is in a coalition with Jubilee and it has not been deregistered,” Ms Dullo said.
She pointed out that she will continue advocating for the interests on Jubilee despite her party changing name into UDA.
UDA has already fronted candidates in the upcoming by elections in Nairobi governor seat (subject to court approval), Machakos senatorial seat, Matungu and Kabuchai Constituencies a well as Hell’s Gate and London Wards in Nakuru County and Huruma in Uasin Gishu County.
Former Assistant Minister Margaret Wanjiru will fly the UDA party ticket in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election, Urbanus Ngengele will fly its flag in Machakos senatorial seat, former Kenya Revenue Authority board member Evans Kakai will fly the wheelbarrow party ticket in the Kabuchai Constituency seat while Alex Lanya will run for the Matungu parliamentary seat.
The party has also fielded candidates against Jubilee in three Wards – two in Nakuru and one in Uasin Gishu County.
They will battle it out with Jubilee party which has fronted Virginia Wamaitha Gicanga, Francis Njoroge Njogu and Lucy Ng’endo Njoroge to fly its flag in the Hell’s Gate, London Ward and Huruma Wards respectively, with the battle now pitying President Kenyatta against his deputy Ruto.
UDA will field Mr Anthony Wachira Nzuki in London Ward while Mr Jonathan Warothe will fly its flag in Hells Gate Ward in the March 4, 2021 mini poll.
Mr Murathe pointed out that it is dishonest and unacceptable for UDA to go into a competition with Jubilee and still purport to be part of their team.
He said the DP and his team were promoting the interests of UDA party in blatant disregard of the law.
The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) said it would act should the ruling party go ahead to write a petition against the members, adding that such matters lie with the mother parties, in this case Jubilee.
“We haven’t received any petition against any politicians from the party you have mentioned but any party member who goes outside the rules of engagement, it is the party to take it up and advise the registrar about what they have done,” the Registrar of Political Parties Ms Ann Nderitu told Nation in an earlier interview.
The Political Parties Act 2011 states that a person shall not be a member of more than one political party at the same time.
It also states that a person who, while being a member of a political party – forms another political party, joins in the formation of another political party, joins another political party, in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party or promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) or the provisions of any other written law, be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party.
It further adds that a member of a political party may only be expelled from that political party if the member has infringed the constitution of the political party and after the member has been afforded a fair opportunity to be heard in accordance with the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the constitution of the party.