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Jubilee: Tuju, Murathe living on borrowed time

THE STAR 08/30/2021

The President endorsed sweeping changes in the ruling outfit on Friday during a meeting with Kielweke leaders at State House, Nairobi

Some of the MPs who attended a meeting of Central Kenya parliamentarians at Windsor Hotel, Nairobi on August 18, 2021. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Some of the MPs who attended a meeting of Central Kenya parliamentarians at Windsor Hotel, Nairobi on August 18, 2021. Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ceded to demands by some of his allies from Mt Kenya for changes and reforms in the Jubilee party.

Sources told the Star President Kenyatta,  in a meeting with party diehards, at State House, Nairobi, gave the team two weeks to recommend potential successors of vice chairman David Murathe and secretary general Raphael Tuju.

The politicians, mostly Kieleweke leaning MPs and MCAs from Kiambaa constituency and those elected on Jubilee tickets in recent by-elections, pleaded with Uhuru to rid the party of “officials who have become a stumbling block for reforms, vibrancy and growth.”

“It is not true that the President defended hawa wawili (those two-Murathe and Tuju) as I have seen in a section of media. No. We laid our case against the two, among other problems facing the party. The President, who is our party leader, listened to us carefully and after, he told us the party was ours and we are free to make the changes on officials and propose other ways to reposition Jubilee to its former self,” an MP who attended the meeting told the Star on Sunday.

He went on, “In two weeks, we will be back again for a progress meeting with him (Uhuru). In that meeting, we are required to table names of leaders we think will inject new ideas into the party and take it into the next level.”

Neither Murathe nor Tuju, the perceived Uhuru hatchet men,  attend the Friday meeting.

Attempts by the Star to enquire from the two top Jubilee leaders if they were aware of the plans, were unsuccessful.

Save for Murathe and Tuju, who have both been blamed for the dwindling fortunes of the once vibrant behemoth party, Uhuru, the party supremo, endorsed kicking out remnants of Deputy President William Ruto's supporters.

On Sunday, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu confirmed the looming  changes.

Wambugu described the session as cordial, warm and progressive and said Uhuru endorsed their proposals to revamp and energise Jubilee.

“The President confirmed that the Jubilee party belongs to us, as the next generation of political leaders. He said if and where we want changes made, they will be made; and he will support our decision,” he told the Star in an interview.

On the 2022 succession power plan, Ngunjiri said they agreed to back a presidential candidate who will be “determined purely by the interests of our region and the ability of the candidate to deliver those interests.”

He however said Uhuru will have the ultimate role in recommending to them the best man or woman to succeed him in the 2022 presidential race.

“Our interests are equitable resource allocation, equal representation, access to appropriate government opportunities, presence in national politics equivalent to our numbers, peace and security for all our people wherever they are and respect for our leaders both the past and present,” he said.

He added, “The person who will offer to deliver this, and who has a track record and can be trusted to do what he says, will be the one we will support.”

On the streak of losses, including the recent by-election in Kiambaa where Ruto’s UDA narrowly beat Jubilee, Ngunjiri said Uhuru was happy about how the party campaigned despite the loss.

“It was the reason he hosted us for the mbuzi. He told us we proved that there is a generation of leaders ready and able to take our community to the next level. He committed to support whatever we will do, 100 per cent, with everything he has,” he said.

“Kiambaa taught us that there is a disconnect between the Jubilee party, the government and its achievements, and Wanjiku. Kiambaa also taught us that there has been a very deliberate investment in lies and propaganda by the DP and his allies into this gap to incite people against the government, the party and the President,” he added.

Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege—one of Uhuru's confidants who attended the half-day meeting—said they discussed weighty in-house issues which the public will soon see the fruits.

Speaking to the Star on phone, Sabina, who is eying to succeed governor Mwangi Wa Iria, said they are pushing for reforms in the party that will see the outfit reclaims its space.

“The meeting was in-house and was attended by some leaders. We discussed several weighty issues that I cannot disclose but you will soon see the results,” she said.

“We have resolved that the party is due for a leadership overhaul that will see fresh, vibrant, youthful and persuasive leadership driving our vigorous grassroots campaigns,” she said.

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said they will do everything to ensure they get rid of leaders responsible for the party's poor performance.

Starehe MP Charles Njagua who also attended the meeting said, “radical changes will take place in the party soon and you will witness.”

“The President is my party leader and I had to honour the invite. The meeting deliberated on good plans for the good of our party and the country,” he said.

-Edited by SKanyara

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