Deputy President William Ruto’s allies came out with guns blazing yesterday and threatened to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta if the DP is blocked from contesting the presidency in 2022.
Ruto’s supporters spoke on the day Jubilee vice chair David Murathe quit his party position and vowed to go ahead and seek an advisory opinion at the Supreme Court regarding Ruto’s presidential bid, which he has opposed.
“I now find that it is no longer tenable to stay on as the party vice chairman, given that I will have to sit in the same National Executive Council with a man I am taking to court to block from running for president,” he told journalists at his Garden Estate home in Nairobi.
Murathe has vowed to do anything to stop Ruto from succeeding Kenyatta. His stand has resulted in division in the ruling party but the President has not addressed the matter, although unconfirmed reports said yesterday President Kenyatta forced Murathe to quit.
“The President told him to leave the party,” said a source familiar with the matter.
In a rare attack on the President, outspoken Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri said if President Kenyatta is tired of leading the country he should call for elections.
“If Kenyatta is tired of leading this country he should immediately call for fresh elections so that we can end this political rumour-mongering,” he said.
The MP added that the Head of State should carry the cross of incitement during past campaigns for his derogatory remarks against National Super Alliance principal Raila Odinga.
“It is Kenyatta who started abusing Raila by calling him a drunkard and a mad person,” he said adding, “If the president has joined ODM, please let him defect and go to ODM.”
Raila and Uhuru entered a truce on March 9, 2018 when they shook hands after the disputed elections of 2017. They have since then been working together for national unity and development. There is even word that Raila’s allies could be included in Cabinet.
President Kenyatta last month distanced himself from a section of Jubilee politicians who are claiming the party will not support DP Ruto in his bid to clinch the presidency in 2022.
Addressing journalists from State House Mombasa on Friday, Kenyatta said Jubilee has its plans ahead of the next General Election.
“I have been very vocal that people should shun 2022 politics. As a party, we have our own plans just like other parties but there are so many things we need to sort in order to have a peaceful choice in 2022,” he said.
Yesterday, Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen asked Ruto to ignore Murathe, insisting that his bid for State House was on course.
“Our country needs national healing not another war of words. When I say this, I say it with a very strong heart because I know the President and the Deputy President and I know the Jubilee Party leadership. Those people who you are hearing making a lot of noise were not with us in Nakuru when we were crafting the coalition agreements.
“The President and his deputy – who were then the leaders of The National Alliance (TNA) and United Republican Party (URP) – expressly directed myself and Kindiki Kithure to craft a document that would be used to unite and reconcile Kenyans and not a power-sharing document,” Murkomen said.
Apart from Murathe, some bloggers from Mt Kenya region are running negative propaganda against the DP.
A section of ruling Jubilee MPs aligned to DP Ruto’s camp tore into Murathe over his anti-Ruto sentiments.
Nakuru senator Susan Kihika, MPs Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu), Didmus Barasa ( Kimilili), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South) and Charles Njagua (Starehe) dismissed Murathe as a political conman and broker.
At the weekend, Murathe kicked off yet another storm during the burial of JP secretary general Raphael Tuju’s younger brother when he announced that he would move to the apex court to block Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Yesterday, pro-Ruto MPs dismissed Murathe’s sentiments as personal opinion and that does not reflect Jubilee’s position or that of President Kenyatta.
The leaders also dismissed claims that Murathe speaks for President Kenyatta.
Ichung’wah and Kihika described Murathe as a broker on the loose who is strategising on how to make a kill ahead of the 2022 polls.
“There are some people who had been declared bankrupt and now have turned to Chinese brokers. Let the brokers continue brokering the Chinese. We only pray that they do not come to vomit on Kenyans,” Ichung’wa said.
“The President was emphatic from the Mombasa address that those who are speaking on 2022 are expressing their own opinion.”
The leaders were speaking yesterday after attending a church service at Revival Sanctuary of Glory Church in Riruta Satellite, Dagoretti South constituency.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, who spoke separately in Eldoret, called on Kenyatta to order for Jubilee party elections to remove top officials accused of causing wrangles.
“Tuju and Murathe are rejects who should now be removed from the party through elections”, Sudi said.
He said Tuju and Murathe are being used to rock Jubilee from within and block DP Ruto from succeeding President Kenyatta in 2022.
“We brought Tuju into Jubilee not because he had any support but because we just wanted to create a national face for the party. He is now baggage and should be removed,” Sudi said.