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Storm over no-MOU-with-Ruto remark : The Standard

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ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) confers with Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe during Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2018 at Kinoru Stadium. [File, Standard]

A statement by a top official of the ruling Jubilee Party that there was no deal to help Deputy President William Ruto succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 has sparked a storm.

Mr Ruto’s allies yesterday demanded the ouster of Jubilee Party vice-Chairperson David Murathe over his utterances in Vihiga County that there was no agreement binding Mt Kenya region to back the DP for the presidency in 2022.
Some MPs from Mt Kenya region also dismissed Mr Murathe’s sentiments as personal, saying he had no mandate to speak for the community as he was not an elected representative.
But some of the region’s leaders who have been critical of Ruto said elected representatives do not have a monopoly over political views and that Murathe should not be condemned for speaking out.

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No deal
Murathe, who spoke on Wednesday at Mbale during the 39th Maragoli cultural celebrations, declared that the central region and other Jubilee Party strongholds were not bound to support Ruto’s presidential candidature in 2022.
He was accompanied by former Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando, both viewed as supporters of Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi.
Yesterday, Ruto’s allies accused Murathe of misusing the party and vowed to gang up to oust him in the next Jubilee Party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
“Murathe does not deserve any attention because of his unbecoming character. As the real stakeholders of Jubilee Party, we will throw him out,” said Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono.

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Mr Rono added: “We are concerned at how he is handling the affairs of the party and his prolonged stay is likely to affect our country’s unity. Murathe does not control even one per cent of the Kikuyu community. His sentiments are an attempt to make him relevant.”
Soy MP Caleb Kositany, the party’s deputy secretary general, termed Murathe’s statement personal and not a reflection of the outfit.
“It is President Uhuru Kenyatta who said he will seek re-election for a second term and then ensure that in the next 10 years his deputy will take up the mantle. To our observation, the DP has demonstrated that he is able to take up leadership,” said Mr Kositany.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa said only Uhuru and Ruto could give direction on party matters.
“The duo are entitled to give party directions on any matter. They have worked well and at no point have they contradicted each other. Murathe is a citizen and has no authority to speak on behalf of Jubilee,” said Mr Ichung’wa.

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Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said Murathe did not speak for the people of Central Kenya.
“The DP has kept his commitment to the people of Central Kenya and President Kenyatta and as such there is no reason we shall fail to support him in future,” he added.
But Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said Murathe had a right to express his opinion as a Kenyan and the vice chairperson of the ruling party.
“Nobody has a monopoly to speak on national issues. Each Kenyan’s voice counts and Murathe has a key position in Jubilee and has a right to express his opinion,” Mr Wambugu said.
Njoro MP Charity Kathambi said the move by Murathe was against the party’s push to steer the country away from politics as directed by the President.

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“As Jubilee leaders and supporters, we should not waste a minute thinking about Murathe’s sentiments. He must be very idle. He isn’t an elected leader and Jubilee supporters don’t even know him. He can’t purport to speak on their behalf,” added Ms Kathambi.
Gachagua warned Mr Mudavadi against being misled by “political brokers” who, he insisted, had been rejected by the electorate.
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said only Uhuru, as the region’s leader, could give such weighty pronouncements.
“Change can only be altered by the President as Mt Kenya region strongly supports Ruto over Raila Odinga and any other presidential candidate,” said Mr Kang’ata.
Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene claimed Murathe and company had now retreated to tribal cocoons to fight the DP after an unsuccessful plot to tarnish his name through allegations.
Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria said Murathe’s remarks should be treated with contempt, as he did not speak for Jubilee Party members.
“I am a member of the party and don’t even know him. How can he purport to speak on our behalf when we didn’t even elect him?” posed Mr Gikaria.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said the Mt Kenya region had their elected leaders who were mandated by law to speak on their behalf.
Nandi Senator Kiprotich Cherargey said there was a plot by some individuals to create an agenda aimed at disrupting the President’s Big Four agenda.
Moiben MP Silas Tiren dismissed the 2022 succession talks.
“Even before we think about who will take up what position in 2022, we should be aware that Kenyans are wise and able to make their own decisions. There are pressing matters such as payment of farmers for the grain they supplied to depots and the Big Four agenda that needs to be implemented. Let us not divert attention to suit a few individuals who are keen on grabbing positions,” he said.
Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui said elected leaders under the Jubilee Party did not recognise Murathe and his purported position in the party.
Mr Tonui called Murathe an imposter, saying the only party officials recognised were the president and his deputy, who were the party leader and deputy party leader respectively, besides Secretary General Raphael Tuju.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said Murathe was not elected by anyone to be the vice chairperson of JP. “I call on President Kenyatta to call for party officials’ elections so that we can set our house in order. Murathe does not add any value to the party and disciplinary action should be taken against him,” Barasa added.
[Reporting by Lydiah Nyawira, Dickson Mwiti, Boniface Gikandi, Joseph Muchiri, Kennedy Gachuhi and Silah Koskei]

2022 succession politicsWilliam RutoDavid Murathe





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