- President Uhuru Kenyatta is reportedly determined to have David Murathe remain as Vice-Chairman of the Jubilee Party even as Deputy President William Ruto and his allies launch a battle for control of the party.
Murathe, an ally of Uhuru who has on multiple occasions vowed that Ruto will not ascend to the Presidency in 2022, had resigned from his position in January 2019 as his statements on Ruto made national headlines.
It later emerged, however, that he never handed in his resignation letter nor was it accepted by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking to reporters recently, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju confirmed that Murathe was still technically the Vice-Chairman as his purported resignation was not accepted by President Kenyatta.
Now, a report by Daily Nation on Sunday, April 12 claims that Uhuru is determined to retain control of Jubilee Party by re-appointing Murathe and nominating new officials.
Changes to the composition of the National Management Committee (NMC) have brought Murathe back into the limelight as he dismissed Ruto’s concerns on the nomination of new officials.
Murathe insisted that Ruto’s move to stop the changes was futile, advising him to take up the matter with Uhuru.
Ruto had opened up a new battlefront on Friday, April 10 when he protested the changes to one of the party’s most powerful organs.
“As Kenyans are focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, some shadowy characters are attempting to fraudulently institute illegal changes in officials of Jubilee party. As deputy leader, I have alerted the registrar of the fraud. Party members should know that the matter is being handled,” he had written in a tweet.
After leaders allied to the DP wrote seemingly coordinated letters to the Registrar of Political Parties raising objections to the changes, Murathe insisted that the decision was unstoppable.
He argued that by forwarding the list of proposed new officials to the registrar, Tuju was simply acting on the instructions of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Tuju cannot make changes in the party without making reference to the party leader. These fellows are wasting time.
“Instead of collecting signatures from the more than five million Jubilee members to support their case, they have resorted to making noise on social media. They are in for a shock,” Murathe asserted.
Alluding to a speech by Ruto on Thursday, 9 April in which he insisted that he regularly consults with the president, Murathe stated that if the DP could not take up the issue of the officials with Uhuru directly, then he was lying to the people.
“In a press conference the other day, Ruto said he regularly consults the President. Why not take up the matter with him instead of crying on social media? He must have been lying,” Murathe argued.
Ruto seemingly sought to distance Uhuru from the controversial changes on Sunday, April 12 when he instead blamed unnamed ‘fraudsters’.
“The president & party leader of JP did not and cannot be a party to any fraudulent and illegal changes to officials of our party. This is the work of political rejects, conmen & fraudsters whose party allegiance is already elsewhere. They should give us a break and leave JP alone,” he stated.