Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju has said Deputy President William Ruto is not the party’s automatic choice to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
Tuju’s announcement comes a day after the sentiments of Jubilee Party vice chairperson David Muraithe who said that Ruto will retire with Uhuru in 2022.
While being interviwed with Citizen Tv, Tuju points 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.
In run-up to the 2013 and 2017 elections, President Kenyatta publicly gave an indication of the Jubilee coalition’s succession plan and boldly pin-pointed Ruto as his anointed successor.
“Mimi nawaambia kitu kimoja pekee yake. Yakwamba wangojee miaka 10 Uhuru amalize kazi yake halafu wangojee miaka ingine 10 Ruto amalize kazi yake…”
Loosely translated: “I want to tell them [opposition] that they should wait until I serve my 10-year term and after that Ruto will take over and serve his 10 years,” said President Kenyatta during a campaign rally in 2013.
But the president however is seemed to have changed his mind when he distance himself from 2022 election talk, saying it is not relevant at this time because problems that have made previous elections to be riddled with violence have not yet been fully tackled.
Rather, Uhuru puts more effort on the building bridges task force, formed after his truce with Opposition leader Raila Odinga in March this year, looks into the problems that are ailing the country.
During a past public address in Nyeri, President Uhuru had stated: “I am telling them when the right time comes, I will have something to say. I am still a politician. They will be shocked when that time comes,” sentiments that left many guessing on his likely successor.
DP Ruto has already declared his intentions of succeeding his party boss at the helm of the country’s governance structure.
The deputy president’s hopes of occupying the house on the hill are strongly pegged on an expected support of the man he aims to succeed.
But the move by Jubilee’s Vice-chairman and Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally David Murathe to discredit a 2022 covenant sealed in 2012 and reiterated in the run -up to the last presidential contest is raising many questions.
During a public function in Vihiga County on Wednesday, December 26, Murathe had stated that there was no agreement that the Mount Kenya political bloc would support Ruto in the 2022 elections.
“We have no MoU with anyone that we will support them in 2022. If he has any deal with Uhuru Kenyatta, then that is an agreement between the two of them,” said Murathe referring to Ruto.
“Let you not be deceived by the Tangatanga movement because both Ruto and Uhuru have served their full terms and should retire together,” he stated.
According to Tuju, by virtue of being the deputy party leader, William Ruto is a front-runner for the Jubilee ticket, but that does not guarantee him the party flag in 2022.
“Even President Uhuru Kenyatta… It was not automatic that he was going to be the party candidate as at the time we were going for elections. We had to have a national delegates conference…” said Tuju.
The now controversial utterances by Murathe have led to a section of Jubilee leaders calling for party elections to streamline communication of party positions.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Waiguru said the Jubilee Party should hold elections “soonest possible” to reorganise the party and stem the growing divisions.
“It is imperative, and in order, that the Jubilee Party hold party elections soonest possible, to forestall internal divisions, and ensure that statements are made by Elected Party Officials, and that they infact represent the views of the Jubilee Party as a whole,” she said.
SOURCE: MKARIMU MEDIA AND NEWS AGENCIES