President Uhuru Kenyatta made a last minute phone call to his Deputy William Ruto at the Jubilee headquarters that made him change his mind on the party’s decision not to field a candidate in the Msambweni by-election.
Ruto had rushed to the party’s headquarters on Wednesday, September 23, after the announcement by the Secretary General Raphael Tuju.
Once at the headquarters, the DP and Tuju are said to have gone to the party’s boardroom for a meeting where Ruto expressed his disaffection as he had not been consulted before the party arrived at the said decision.
Deputy President William Ruto at Jubilee Party headquarters on September 22, 2020
Reports indicate that it is at this point that Tuju made a phone call to the president, and put it on loud speaker. He would then take the DP through an internal document prepared by the party in the presence of the party leader.
The call took around 30 minutes, the standard reports.
Other officials are said to have given room to the President and the DP, after which Ruto would address the media saying that he was in support of the party’s decision.
“We will all stand by that decision that those who had intentions of vying on a Jubilee ticket in Msambweni will now look for alternatives, maybe run as independent candidates or in other political parties,” he stated.
A day after this announcement, the DP met Feisal Abdallah Bader, who is an aspirant for the Msambweni seat at Karen, Nairobi County.
He was accompanied by Coast MPs Athman Shariff (Lamu East), Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga) and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), who unveiled Feisal as their preferred candidate.
The happenings follow a statement to newsrooms by the Jubilee party on Wednesday, which indicated that it had received numerous inquiries from potential aspirants, but opted not to front any candidate.
“The decision not to engage in the contest is informed by the facts prevailing at the moment; when we face challenges like the recent advisory by the Chief Justice that Parliament should be dissolved,” reads the statement in part.
In addition, Tuju stated that the party had also considered the cooperation between Jubilee and ODM in Parliament before arriving at the decision.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju (left) at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi in October 2015