By Mourice Seretta
The ball is now in the court of President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene a Jubilee Party National Executive Council (NEC), which he chairs, to ratify a decision made by the Party’s National Management Committee (NMC) which resolved to remove Deputy President William Ruto as Deputy Party Leader.
The party’s secretary general Raphael Tuju said that the NMC reached the decision to remove Ruto as deputy party leader after he was found sabotaging the party and advancing the interests of a rival political party, United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
“The NMC discussed the matters and resolved to remove the DP as per the party constitution. The matter is active, we have the recommendations of NMC and now only waiting for the party leader to convene a NEC meeting to deliberate on the matter,” Tuju said.
Tuju said that the party leader has an option of either calling for the meeting or delegate the matter.
Ruto and his boss president Uhuru Kenyatta’s relationship has been frosty in the past especially after Uhuru reached out to Opposition chief Raila Odinga during the famous handshake that bore the Building Bridges Initiative.
Ruto has been campaigning against the process pitying him against Uhuru, one of the reasons he is now facing the door.
Last month, angry President Uhuru dared Ruto to quit government if he was not satisfied with what the government was doing instead of being in it while at the same time criticizing what it was doing.
“If you are praising it, stay in, if you are dissatisfied, get out,” Uhuru said in February.
During the launch of the BBI at the Bomas of Kenya in October 2020, the President accused Ruto to his face that he was running towards a different direction from which the rest were headed to.
Several other activities have been going on that were showing outright signs that it was time the party went for Ruto.
The purse started in parliament where all allies of the deputy were de whipped from chairing various departmental committees and the major one was the removal of Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Whip Susan Kihika.
In the National Assembly the whip landed on Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Two weeks ago, the last Ruto man standing in the hierarchy of the party leadership was Soy MP Caleb Kositany who was removed as the party’s Deputy Secretary General.
Mid last year, Ruto met a section of Jubilee MPs at what was called then as Jubilee Asili party headquarters as another faction met elsewhere.
At time, Tuju issued a strongly worded statement stating that the DP was about to be expelled from the party.
“That the NMC has recommended to the NEC that the DP ceases to be Deputy Party Leader after he opened the so-called Jubilee Asili offices that is reserved for him and his allies until such a time that this development of Jubilee Asili is discussed at the NEC,” Tuju then said in a statement read out to reporters.
Tuju then also said Ruto had been banned from transacting any business at the party headquarters on behalf of the party and on behalf of his faction.
This time around, it will be interesting to watch how the President, who is the party leader will maneuver the removal of his deputy who was very influential in his election to power in 2013 and re-election in 2017 amid tough competition from Raila Odinga during the two general elections.