Ruto breaks silence over Jubilee jitters following Tuju, Murathe remarks


Ruto breaks silence over Jubilee jitters following Tuju, Murathe remarks
A side by side photo of Deputy President William Ruto (Centre), Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and Vice-Chairman David Murathe. PHOTOS| COURTESY.

Deputy President William Ruto has told off politicians opposed to his 2022 presidential bid amid concerns of a widening rift in the Jubilee Party.

Speaking on Wednesday during a meeting of delegations from Bungoma and Busia Counties at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu County, Ruto said he is ready to face-off with any politician in the next race for the country’s top job.

“I am ready to battle with anybody. Let my competitors put on the table what they have done for this country,” said Ruto.

Ruto also downplayed remarks by a section of Jubilee leaders who have been claiming that he (Ruto) is not guaranteed of being the party’s flag bearer.

He said no amount of endorsement would elevate the prospects of candidates with no development track-record.

“There are those hanging around, waiting for endorsements. How do you expect to be endorsed if you have no agenda or programme for the country?” Posed Ruto.

He maintained that Jubilee would only front “serious political contenders,” adding that it would be a tough race for who are not well prepared. The DP invited anyone who wanted to vie against him, saying he was not scared of competition.

At the same time, Ruto reiterated that he would not support the proposed change of the constitution if it would burden taxpayers.

“Anything that seeks to impede the fruits of devolution would also be opposed. We would want to see reforms that would make counties thrive,” he said.

The deputy president’s remarks come in the wake of a brewing storm in the Jubilee Party sparked by its vice chairman David Murathe.

Speaking at a public function in Vihiga County on Wednesday, December 26, Murathe said there was no agreement that the Mount Kenya political bloc would endorse Ruto’s candidature in the 2022 elections.

“We have no MoU with anyone that we will support them in 2022. If he has any deal with Uhuru Kenyatta, then that is an agreement between the two of them,” said Murathe referring to Ruto.

Amid the contention sparked by Murathe’s controversial remarks, Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju came out to state that Deputy President William Ruto is not the party’s automatic choice to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

Tuju insisted that the choice of candidate is governed by the party’s constitution which makes no mention of an automatic presidential ticket as postulated by DP Ruto’s allies.

“Even President Uhuru Kenyatta… It was not automatic that he was going to be the party candidate as at the time we were going for elections. We had to have a national delegates conference…” said Tuju in an interview with Citizen TV.

Meanwhile, the delegation at Ruto’s Sugoi home included Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, Bungoma County Women Representative Catherine Wambilianga, MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West).

Other legislators present were James Lusweti (Kabuchai), John Waluke (Sirisia), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Geoffrey Omuse (Teso South), Oku Kaunya (Teso North) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret).

 

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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