No mercy: How Uhuru dealt ruthlessly with Jubilee opponents - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 26 December 2020

No mercy: How Uhuru dealt ruthlessly with Jubilee opponents


The inside fights, power scramble almost saw the ruling Jubilee Party disintegrate as two factions fought over control of the outfit.

Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions emerged within the JP after the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the chief opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Deputy President William Ruto led the Tangatanga brigade that was not pleased by the outcome of the handshake.

The group claimed Ruto had been sidelined.

On the other side, the Kieleweke group emerged as the President’s defendants, who protected Uhuru from his critics as well as lauding each and every step he made.

The main aim of the handshake was to foster unity and inclusion in the government, but instead, the JP was shaken by the same move.

The President needed to make tough decisions to safeguard his promises to the people of Kenya even as his tenure elapsed.

Through the handshake, the Building Bridges Initiative was formed which was to unite all Kenyans.

The BBI brought forth Constitutional amendments through its report.

The President needed to clear things up in his house, getting rid of obstacles along his way.

The year 2020 is when the president decided to deal relentlessly with his party opponents.

The first and unpredicted move was holding a meeting with Kanu chairperson Gideon Moi, where a deal was reached on the formation of a post-election coalition.

Uhuru to fill 16 slots for committee chairpersons and vice chairpersons at PG on Monday.

In the Jubilee-Kanu post-election deal, the two political parties named several policies and objectives which seem to be borrowing from the handshake.

These include promoting and maintenance of security and safety of all Kenyans, fostering national unity, reconciliation and healing as well as fostering the equal distribution of national resources.

In May, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was ousted as the Majority Leader in the Senate, following the Jubilee Coalition Senate Parliamentary Group meeting that was held at the State House, Nairobi and chaired by the president.

Murkomen was replaced by his West-Pokot counterpart Samuel Poghisio, who is a Kanu member.

Before his removal from the Senate leadership, Murkomen had criticised the president over the move to militarise Nairobi, and following the transfer of key functions the county Government of Nairobi to the national government.

The changes also saw Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika losing her Majority Chief Whip position to Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata.

Kindiki was removed for being disloyal to the President after he skipped a meeting called by the Jubilee party leader to change the House leadership.

Senate Majority eader Samuel Poghisio.
Senate Majority eader Samuel Poghisio.
Image: FILE

The next man to be axed was the Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, who was removed from the Deputy Senate Speaker post and replaced by Margaret Kamar.

A raft of changes followed in the Senate, where a number of Senators allied to Ruto were removed from the key committees.

In the changes, Senator Christopher Lang'at (Bomet) was replaced at the House Business Committee by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, and also lost his post as Education Committee chairman to Senator Alice Milgo.

Vocal Ruto ally Senator Samson Cherargei (Nandi) was also removed as chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

Meru Senator Linturi Mithika also lost his membership at the powerful Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee and replaced by Senator Fatuma Dullo.

Senators Cherargei, Linturi, Lang'at and Kinyua removed from crucial committees.

John Kinyua will also lose his position as the chairman of the Devolution Committee and Murkomen was named a member of the Devolution Committee.

The fight was far from over as Uhuru next shifted his focus to the National Assembly.

In June, the President convened the party's Parliamentary Group which was held at the KICC, where a number of changes were agreed to be made at the National Assembly leadership and committees.

The major change that shocked the nation though it was expected was the removal of Garissa Township MP Aden Duale from the National Assembly Majority leadership post.

Duale had tried to play his card safely by not leaning to either Tangatanga or the Kieleweke group, but he was all the same kicked out and replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya.

After the removal, Ruto assured Duale that his future was bright, and lauded him for the service that he rendered to both the Parliament and the government during his tenure.

"My brother Aden Duale, you are a great leader. For the last 8 years, you discharged your responsibilities as our party's 1st majority leader with style, precision, passion, and loyalty," Ruto said.

“My friend when parliamentary history is written you will have a chapter. Mbele iko sawa na Mungu.”

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.

Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe was picked as Majority Whip and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore as his deputy, replacing Mumias East legislator Benjamin Washiali and Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire.

Sixteen MPs allied to the DP were also casualties, being axed from their plum positions in National Assembly committees.

The MPs who served as chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of various committees were served with seven-day notices of imminent removal.

The DP and his allies retaliated by attempting to paralyse the JP by relocating their businesses to a house that was named Jubilee Asili with a new slogan - 'Sote Pamoja

It aroused a number of questions from the members of the public, considering that there is a Jubilee Party Headquarters.

But senator Linturi defended their move, saying that they were not forming a parallel office, saying Jubilee Asili was just but a ‘comfort zone’ to the dewhipped MPs.

Also, the relationship between Ruto and the top JP officials deteriorated.

The party vice-chair David Murathe castigated every move taken by the DP, saying that Ruto was interfering with the president’s work with his 2022 early campaigns.

Murathe, the man perceived as the ‘president’s total man’ had said that the DP had lost control in the party.

In October, while the president was on his official visit to France, Ruto and his 30 allies stormed the party headquarters.

Some of his critics said that it was an attempted 'coup', but Linturi dismissed it.

DP and his team embroiled in a scheme to recapture the ruling party.
The Star / JAMES MBAKA and GIDEON KETER Thestarkenya

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'.

However, the DP 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.”

There was no senior Jubilee official, including secretary-general Raphael Tuju, who was at hand to receive him.

The rivalry within the party never ended despite the changes in National Assembly and the Senate.

The DP’s raised its reservations to the BBI report proposals, which Uhuru and Raila had agreed upon.

Ruto said that it is possible for a country to hold a non-divisive referendum, which should be held in 2022 during the general elections.

Tuju announced later that Ruto was no longer welcomed to the party headquarters, adding that Ruto ceased to be Deputy Party Leader the moment he sanctioned the opening of the Jubilee Asili Centre.

He said that the decision was reached after a National Management Committee meeting on Friday.

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