Ruto storms Jubilee headquarters with 38 MPs in Uhuru absence - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 2 October 2020

Ruto storms Jubilee headquarters with 38 MPs in Uhuru absence


Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday stormed Jubilee Party headquarters accompanied by 38 MPs in what allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta called a 'coup'.

Seen as part of his scheme to recapture Jubilee, the DP has now resolved to work from the Pangani-based office at least twice a week to kick out 'hijackers'.

This was the third time Ruto visited the Jubilee nerve centre in less than two weeks. He is putting up a spirited fight to regain control of the outfit from "cartels and busybodies" he accused of holding the party hostage.

The DP on Thursday made it clear that he will stop at nothing to ensure that order is restored in Jubilee despite clear signs of a falling-out with the President who is the party leader.

“We can't leave the party to crooks. I will be coming here at least once or twice a week to plan party matters,” Ruto was reported to have told the MPs who accompanied him.

He arrived moments at around 10 am accompanied by his allies. No senior Jubilee official, including secretary-general Raphael Tuju, was at hand to receive him.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, who was with Ruto, dismissed claims that the DP and his allies were staging a coup in the party that had shoved them to the periphery.

"These are the members of the Jubilee Party. We had a meeting to exchange ideas. There was no coup and there is no coup in our party,” Linturi said.

“How can we stage a coup in our own party? This is our party that we finance.”

Addressing his allies at a boardroom on the fourth floor, Ruto warned of tough times ahead for party officials who will not want to stomach his presence.

“Those officials who want to come can come... Kama hawataki waende Orange House kwa candidate wao (If they can't cooperate let them leave for Orange House where their candidate is),” the DP said.

The timing of his visit with a host of MPs triggered protests from the President's allies who termed the move a daring raid aimed at undermining the President. Uhuru is in France for a state visit.

"He (Ruto) went to Jubilee Party headquarters to grab the party. It was a raid and a coup,” said Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.

The fierce Ruto critic said the DP's visit was a provocative step that must be seen as a direct challenge against the President.

But Kandara MP Alice Wahome, who was among those accompanying Ruto, dismissed Wambugu remarks, saying the DP and his allies were legally “at home” and cannot be intimidated.

“This, therefore, does not amount to a coup in the party because you cannot cause a coup in your own house or government. It would be unfortunate for anyone to call it a coup,” Wahome said.

It also emerged that part of Ruto's strategy to take control of Jubilee would be by pushing for internal elections to install his allies at the helm.

Wahome suggested that now that Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, the party should start planning for snap elections.

"We were given a window to prepare and it is now time because the government is opening up the economy so we want to go back to the grassroots,” she told the Star.

The DP's allies were elbowed from the rank and file of Jubilee and he is trying to regain control of the outfit although he has indicated he would chart his own path if he fails.

Last week, Ruto protested against Jubilee decision to pull out of the Msambweni by-election in favour of ODM, whose leader Raila Odinga he perceives as his rival in the 2022 presidential contest. A day later, Ruto unveiled an independent candidate for the race, defying the party position.

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