Jubilee vice-chairperson David Murathe has reaffirmed his early remarks that Deputy President William Ruto cannot be trusted for presidency and called on Rift Valley to produce another candidate.
Murathe, a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta said Ruto should be ready to retire with Uhuru in 2022.
Mkarimu Media on Wednesday December 2 learnt that a section of the Jubilee leaders called for removal of Murathe as party vice chairman over his recent remarks on the high-stakes 2022 succession agenda.
Speaking to the Star, Murathe defended his views saying Ruto had demonstrated he cannot be trusted with the presidency and therefore should be prepared to go home with Uhuru come 2022.
“Huyu mtu ukimuachia dakika kidogo unaona kile anafanya. Sasa ukipatia yeye hii kiti si kutakuwa kubaya? (You can see what this man can do with the little time he has been given. It will be bad if he is given the seat),” Murathe told the Star on phone yesterday.
Ruto’s allies claim that Murathe had no authority to speak on party’s behalf saying his remarks could rock the party.
Murathe however fired back at Ruto’s allies who have been bashing him and insists he would not change his position on the matter.
“These kutanga tanga people (Ruto and allies) should stop blackmailing me. I will not change my position. As a leader, I am here to serve Kenyans and not individuals with selfish interests,” the former Gatanga lawmaker was quoted saying.
Murathe asked Ruto and his allies to forget intimidation and blackmail to have their way.
“Leading a country is not easy. We want a person who will take over from where Uhuru shall leave and continue with the transformation agenda,” he said.
Last week, Murathe urged Western Kenya leaders to unite and “give Central Kenya someone they can work with” in the 2022 presidential election.
The remarks seemed to suggest that Jubilee was no longer keen on Ruto as Uhuru’s successor.
Leaders, including Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, called for Party elections to replace Murathe.
The Kikuyu Council of Elders also affirmed that the community does not owe Ruto any political debt as far as the 2022 General Election is concerned.
“We are not aware of any MoU between Kikuyu and Ruto,” said Kikuyu’s council national chairperson Wachira Kiago.
Kalenjin elders have asked Uhuru to come clean on the Ruto’s agenda.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, a close ally of DP Ruto has defended Ruto saying he would be Jubilee candidate regardless of what others think.
Murathe’s position on the forthcoming succession race had received backing from the Jubilee party’s secretary general, Raphael Tuju, who confirmed Ruto’s candidature is not cast in stone.
Tuju spoke last weekend when he said Ruto is not the party’s automatic choice to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
Tuju pointed out that the choice of candidate is governed by the party’s constitution which makes no mention of an automatic presidential ticket as postulated by DP Ruto’s allies.
“We have a president who is the party leader and we have a deputy President who is the deputy party leader… So that line -up is there, but we also have a constitution indicating how we appoint our candidate for a presidential candidacy and as far as I am concerned nothing has changed,” Tuju said.