The Star (Kenya)

Ju­bilee plans to split Ruto’s role into four

Plan mooted by Pres­i­dent’s con­fi­dants to box him out of party suc­ces­sion ma­trix

- JAMES MBAKA Politics · Elections · Uhuru Kenyatta · National Executive Committee · Jomo Kenyatta · Jubilee Party of Kenya · William Ruto · Jaramogi Oginga Odinga · Raphael Tuju

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s wing of the trou­bled Ju­bilee Party is craft­ing an ex­panded lead­er­ship struc­ture to fur­ther cut down to size the al­ready iso­lated Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto.

The plan be­ing mooted by the Pres­i­dent’s close con­fi­dants will cre­ate four deputy party leader po­si­tions to di­lute the DP’S in­flu­ence and box him out of the party suc­ces­sion ma­trix.

The scheme is seen as part of elab­o­rate Machi­avel­lian tac­tics be­ing em­ployed by the Pres­i­dent’s men to in­flu­ence his suc­ces­sion in the rul­ing party.

Un­der the pro­posed line-up, the Star has ex­clu­sively estab­lished that the deputy party lead­ers will be bosses of par­tic­u­lar re­gions only.

In a telling move, the party is said to be plot­ting to have an­other party leader from South Rift, mean­ing Ruto will only re­main in charge of North Rift.

How­ever, the names of those be­ing con­sid­ered for the three slots re­main un­der the wraps.

The tac­tics rekin­dle me­mories of how Keny­atta se­nior, the coun­try’s first pres­i­dent, dealt with his in­de­pen­dence Vice Pres­i­dent Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

At a his­toric Kanu del­e­gates’ con­fer­ence on March 12-13 in 1966 at the Limuru Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, eight vice pres­i­dent po­si­tions were cre­ated in Kanu to di­lute Oginga’s po­si­tion af­ter a fall­ing out with Keny­atta.

To roll out the strat­egy, Uhuru’s al­lies plan to spon­sor amend­ments to Ar­ti­cle 9 ( 2 ) of the Ju­bilee con­sti­tu­tion to pro­vide for four deputy party lead­ers.

They are first re­ly­ing on Ar­ti­cle 4( 2 ) of the party con­sti­tu­tion which em­pow­ers the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee to re­or­gan­ise the mem­ber­ship of the en­tity.

“The Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee shall have the power to cre­ate or es­tab­lish such cat­e­gories of mem­ber­ship for the ad­vance­ment of the in­ter­ests and ob­jec­tives of the party as cir­cum­stances may war­rant,” the ar­ti­cle reads.

Once the po­si­tions are cre­ated, they will then be op­er­a­tionalised await­ing rat­i­fi­ca­tion by the Na­tional Del­e­gates Con­fer­ence that will nom­i­nate the 2022 pres­i­den­tial flag-bearer.

With four cen­tres of power in the party, Uhuru’s al­lies be­lieve that Ruto would be an­ni­hi­lated and his dream for the Ju­bilee ticket dashed.

Al­though fac­ing re­sis­tance from Uhuru’s men, as the sole sec­ond in com­mand in the party, Ruto has been tech­ni­cally the au­to­matic 2022 Ju­bilee pres­i­den­tial flag-bearer.

How­ever, his quest for the party ticket in 2022 could be dimmed through the machi­na­tions fo­cus­ing on bring­ing on board re­gional big­wigs to take on Ruto at the pri­maries.

This is part of the plan B the Pres­i­dent’s han­dlers are look­ing at in case the DP chooses to hang onto the wob­bly out­fit to bull­doze his nom­i­na­tion as the 2022 pres­i­den­tial flag-bearer.

The Uhuru al­lies are con­cerned that the DP could eas­ily out­ma­noeu­vre them to win the Ju­bilee nom­i­na­tion ticket in case there are no in­flu­en­tial heavy­weights to chal­lenge him at the pri­maries.

In May, Pres­i­dent Keny­atta took firm con­trol of the party’s NEC af­ter he man­aged to kick out Ruto’s al­lies from lead­er­ship po­si­tions in Par­lia­ment.

BELGUT MP NEL­SON KOECH We are not con­cerned at all. That is per­fect as the DP no longer en­joys any pow­ers in gov­ern­ment. They can as well con­tinue hu­mil­i­at­ing him

Uhuru’s suc­cess­ful bid to re­con­sti­tute the party’s Na­tional Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee, whose of­fi­cials are au­to­matic NEC mem­bers, el­bowed Ruto from the grip on Ju­bilee.

is means that the Pres­i­dent’s plan to fur­ther van­quish Ruto would smoothly sail through the lean 32-mem­ber NEC re­con­sti­tuted four months ago.

“ere is no rea­son why we can have one deputy party leader. What if he rebels like what our deputy has done? Who would then help the party leader in man­ag­ing the party af­fairs?” asked a source aware of the plan to cre­ate the four slots.

e of­fi­cial said the three more deputy party lead­ers will rep­re­sent strate­gic re­gions across the coun­try to build the Ju­bilee jug­ger­naut ahead of the 2022 polls.

On Tues­day, sec­re­tary gen­eral Raphael Tuju gave the clear­est in­di­ca­tion yet that the bat­tle for the 2022 Ju­bilee pres­i­den­tial ticket would be bruis­ing.

Tuju re­vealed that Ju­bilee has no au­to­matic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and that Ruto would have to sub­ject him­self to nom­i­na­tion and com­pete with oth­ers.

“at pri­mar­ily does not put into con­sid­er­a­tion any kind of deal that may have been there with the Pres­i­dent. at is not some­thing you can hold any­body to ac­count on,” he said.

e for­mer Rarieda MP added: “ere could have been some swear­ing of sorts among friends but there is no way you can make a party ac­count­able to that and I think the Deputy Pres­i­dent is aware of this. I will sup­port him if he wins the nom­i­na­tion.”

With the Pres­i­dent’s men de­ter­mined to ex­pand the Ju­bilee struc­ture at the helm to rope in some three more big guns to take on Ruto, the DP’S al­lies are bullish.

El­geyo Marak­wet Se­na­tor Kipchumba Murkomen said the plot was noth­ing new and would not af­fect the DP’S for­tunes.

“ey can as well split the po­si­tion of the deputy party leader into 47 deputies if they want but that won’t put food on the ta­ble for Kenyans,” he said.

e ex-se­nate Ma­jor­ity leader likened the move to the Machi­avel­lian tac­tics em­ployed by Jomo Keny­atta to cut Vice-pres­i­dent Jaramogi Odinga to size in 1966.

“at is ex­actly what they did to Jaramogi but they should know that we are in the 21st cen­tury and such tac­tics will boomerang,” he said.

Belgut MP Nel­son Koech told the Star the move is a des­per­ate ef­fort by a few el­e­ments hell-bent on prop­ping up dic­ta­tor­ship in the rul­ing party.

“We are not con­cerned at all. at is per­fect as the DP no longer en­joys any pow­ers in gov­ern­ment. ey can as well con­tinue hu­mil­i­at­ing him,” he said.

e DP, who has fallen out with the Pres­i­dent, has been iso­lated with his al­lies say­ing the Pres­i­dent is per­son­ally lead­ing a cam­paign to per­se­cute him.

Ruto said in a re­cent in­ter­view that he would try to sort the mess in Ju­bilee with the Pres­i­dent, but if push came to shove he would seek an al­ter­na­tive ve­hi­cle for his 2022 pres­i­den­tial bid.


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 ?? /EZEKIEL AMING’A /DPPS ?? Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto in Kisii town on Thurs­day
Ju­bilee sec­re­tary gen­eral Raphael Tuju dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the party head­quaters in Pan­gani on June 10
/EZEKIEL AMING’A /DPPS Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto in Kisii town on Thurs­day Ju­bilee sec­re­tary gen­eral Raphael Tuju dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the party head­quaters in Pan­gani on June 10

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