Raila condemned as Jubilee leaders deny Uhuru-Ruto marriage is rocky


Raila condemned as Jubilee leaders deny Uhuru-Ruto marriage is rocky
A side by side photo of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto. PHOTOS| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The Jubilee leaders trained their guns on opposition leader Raila Odinga accusing him of trying to cause division in the ruling party.
  • They claimed that since the Harambee House handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the Jubilee Party has been facing political turbulence.
  • Mr. Odinga was faulted for criticizing the deputy president’s countrywide forays ahead of the 2022 election.

Jubilee Party leaders on Sunday mounted an aggressive defense dismissing reports that the union between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto is on the rocks.

At the same time, the Jubilee leaders led by Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki and Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen trained their guns on opposition leader Raila Odinga accusing him of trying to cause division in the ruling party.

The legislators, who were speaking at a church fundraiser in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County, claimed that since the Harambee House handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the Jubilee Party has been under political turbulence.

“This talk about the president having his people in Jubilee and the deputy president also having his men in this or that ministry. Where did it come from? I think all this nonsense was brought by the nusu mkate and kitendawili man,” said Murkomen.

“We were told to shake hands and we welcomed this man. Now we are realising that this handshake appears to be poisoned. This nonsense is not the jubilee kind of politics.”

Prof. Kindiki welcomed the unity deal between Kenyatta and Odinga but cautioned the opposition leader against bringing supremacy battles into the Jubilee Party.

“We are urging Raila Odinga that as he works with President Uhuru Kenyatta, let him know that our mode of operation is very different from that of NASA where he was. We clearly know that our leader is Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto and we only have one agenda of development and pushing the country forward,” said Kindiki.

He added: “The partnership between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto is strong. There is nothing on the rocks… The partnership is intact, permanent and pensionable,” said Kindiki.

The Jubilee leaders further  faulted Mr. Odinga for criticizing the deputy president’s countrywide forays ahead of the 2022 election.

“If Raila Odinga wants to vie in 2022, let him stop taking us round with non-issues and handshakes that are meaningless. Let him wait for 2022 because I am sure he will be on the ballot,” said Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi.

“Some people wanted to use the building bridges initiative to bring division but we turned that into blessings for the country. The 2022 elections, the Jubilee Party and Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy are one and the same thing. The Jubilee manifesto will kill three birds together; it will improve the lives of Kenyans, boost Uhuru’s legacy and at the same time prolong Jubilee’s lifespan beyond 2022,” said Murkomen.

Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, who was presiding over the Harambee, steered clear of political matters, instead urging the government step up the war on graft.

“I want to ask the legislators who are here. When you go back to parliament, slightly amend the law so that corruption suspects can be denied bail when they are presented in court,” said Kenneth, who was wooed by a section of Rift Valley leaders to work with DP Ruto ahead of the 2022 election.

“And also, in the Big 4 Agenda, let us ask the president to add one more agenda; fighting corruption. If we want development we must fight corruption.”

Meanwhile, opinion remains divided on what has become of the relationship between Kenyatta and Ruto after the now famous handshake that saw Mr. Odinga and the president bury their political differences to closely work together in uniting the country.

While the Jubilee kingpins insist all is well in the ruling party, political pundits hold that the subtexts tell of emerging cracks and a frosty relationship between the president and his deputy.

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