Ruto’s 2022 ticket not automatic, Tuju declares as Jubilee rift widens


Ruto's 2022 ticket not automatic, Tuju declares as Jubilee rift widens
File image of Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Tuju insists 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.
  • In run-up to the 2013 and 2017 elections, President Kenyatta publicly gave an indication of the Jubilee coalition’s succession plan and boldly pin-pointed Ruto as his anointed successor.

Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju now says Deputy President William Ruto is not the party’s automatic choice to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

The announcement by Tuju, a man who has the president’s ear, could further rock the ruling party in the wake of a brewing storm sparked by its vice chairman David Murathe.

Tuju insists 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.

“We have a president who is the party leader and we have a deputy President who is the deputy party leader… So that line -up is there, but we also have a constitution indicating how we appoint our candidate for a presidential candidacy and as far as I am concerned nothing has changed,” said Tuju in an interview with Citizen TV.

In run-up to the 2013 and 2017 elections, President Kenyatta publicly gave an indication of the Jubilee coalition’s succession plan and boldly pin-pointed Ruto as his anointed successor.

“Mimi nawaambia kitu kimoja pekee yake. Yakwamba wangojee miaka 10 Uhuru amalize kazi yake halafu wangojee miaka ingine 10 Ruto amalize kazi yake…”

Loosely translated: “I want to tell them [opposition] that they should wait until I serve my 10-year term and after that Ruto will take over and serve his 10 years,” said President Kenyatta during a campaign rally in 2013.

DP Ruto has already declared his intentions of succeeding his party boss at the helm of the country’s governance structure.

The deputy president’s hopes of occupying the house on the hill are strongly pegged on an expected support of the man he aims to succeed.

But the move by Jubilee’s Vice-chairman and Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally David Murathe to discredit a 2022 covenant sealed in 2012 and reiterated in the run -up to the last presidential contest is raising many questions.

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 support Ruto 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.

According to Tuju, by virtue of being the deputy party leader, William Ruto is a front-runner for the Jubilee ticket, but that does not guarantee him the party flag in 2022.

“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.

The now controversial utterances by Murathe have led to a section of Jubilee leaders calling for party elections to streamline communication of party positions.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Waiguru said the Jubilee Party should hold elections “soonest possible” to reorganise the party and stem the growing divisions.

“It is imperative, and in order, that the Jubilee Party hold party elections soonest possible, to forestall internal divisions, and ensure that statements are made by Elected Party Officials, and that they infact represent the views of the Jubilee Party as a whole,” she said.

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