In what amounts to taking the war to new levels, some factotums surrounding Uhuru Kenyatta are exploring ways of expelling William Ruto from Jubilee using his links with Jubilee Asili Centre.
If he is expelled, Ruto will lose his seat as deputy leader and DP as he will be partyless. If he survives expulsion by using legal avenues, a plot to impeach him on the parliamentary floor on grounds of running a parallel government is being worked on.
The move by Uhuru to control parliament and courting pro-Ruto MP to his side is part of the impeachment plot, according to our sources. They are planning to summon Ruto using the party disciplinary mechanism to explain what he knows about Jubilee Asili Centre or Jac and its operations. Not spared are Jubilee MPs who were hosted by Ruto at the centre.
The allegations are that the DP is running a parallel Jubilee headquarters, undermining the party leader Uhuru. Further, it is claimed that the is not duly recognizing party officials whose particulars are at the registrar of political parties. They further claim that the DP is engaged in criminal activities by operating from Jac when the party recognized offices at the political registrar are along Thika Road.
By last week plans were in the advanced stage to have party members record statements at Kilimani Police Station and have those operating there arrested. This is after it emerged that Ruto allies are using the centre to ask pertinent questions on Jubilee party operations including Sh67 million party rent controversy and Sh1.3 billion received as income. Those targeted for arrest are MPs Nixon Korir (Langata), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South). Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret), Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Nakuru women rep Susan Kihika.
Insiders add that the president has now declared total war on his deputy and that is why he sanctioned the removal of six more legislators from the leadership of various national assembly committees as they are linked to Jac. Those handed show cause letters include Julius Melly (education), Ali Wario (labour and social welfare), William Kisang (communication, information and innovation), Joseph Limo (finance and national planning and parliamentary broadcasting) and library’s Joash Nyamoko. They join other MPs removed earlier who include Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) and William Cheptumo (Baringo North) from chairpersons of delegated legislation, budget and appropriation and justice and legal affairs committees respectively.
Other Ruto allies kicked out include Mandera South MP Ali Adan (agriculture committee), Machakos Town’s Victor Munyaka (sports, culture and tourism), jailed Sirisia MP John Waluke, Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Robert Pukose (Endebes) as vice-chairpersons for the committee on administration and national security, constitutional implementation oversight committee and energy committee.
Others discharged in the past were Kandara MP Alice Wahome (justice and legal affairs vice-chairperson), Joyce Chepkorir (labour and social welfare vice-chair), Khatib Mwashetani (lands vice-chair) and vice-chair of services and facilities Catherine Waruguru. Waruguru, however, has since decamped from Ruto’s camp to that of the president. She was the one who seconded the dewhipping of Garissa Township MP Aden Duale who was replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya. The dewhipped MPs joined eight senators led by Kipchumba Murkomen who were removed from their positions in a purge. They were Kithure Kindiki, John Kinyua, Mithika Linturi, Samson Cherargei, Susan Kihika and Christopher Langat.
Nominated senators Millicent Omanga, Naomi Waqo, Mary Seneta, Victor Prengei and Falhada Imanare are yet to know their fate. The relation between Uhuru and Ruto took a nasty turn last week after the head of state ordered his aides to block his deputy from reaching him through his mobile phone. Further, the president directed State House officials to only allow Ruto into the premises after he either books an appointment or during cabinet meetings when summoned to attend.
The president, insiders revealed, was angered by his deputy’s open defiance that saw him decline to address the parliamentary group meeting even after he invited him to take the podium. During the Jubilee party parliamentary group meeting last week, the deputy president was first invited by party secretary-general Raphael Tuju to take to the dais and invite his boss as is the custom but broke protocol when he declined to do so. The task was left to Tuju who invited Uhuru and when the president finished his address, he invited Ruto to make his remarks but the hustler again declined to say a word to the shock of the party members. Sources say when the duo was leaving KICC, Ruto sought to talk to Uhuru but the head of state told him to call him later.
After the meeting, insiders added, a furious Uhuru ordered his aides to blacklist Ruto in all his mobile numbers and further directed that should he seek to see him, he has to book an appointment like cabinet secretaries.
Uhuru reportedly told his aides that Ruto should have shown respect by even greeting the MPs and then sitting down rather than refusing to talk.
By unveiling the new office located on Makindu Road, off Riara Road in Nairobi’s Kilimani area, Ruto was directly challenging Uhuru’s authority to lead the party.
His defiance saw him host 20 Jubilee MPs including those removed from parliamentary committees and leadership for supporting his presidential campaigns.
Ruto’s gameplan was revealed by Murkomen who claimed they had opted to open the office to be holding party meetings since they had been denied access to Jubilee Party headquarters. Insiders added that Ruto further angered Uhuru when he tweeted that he had lunch with the Jubilee MPs, sarcastically stating that the ruling party had assigned them other responsibilities due to their exemplary service to the party and the nation. These are the same MPs the president had dismissed as disloyal, and hence his deputy was showing open contempt by praising them.
The deputy president met the dewhipped legislators a day after the president sought to cement his authority at the party by hosting Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani, whose parties signed a cooperation agreement at Jubilee Party headquarters.
Uhuru was further infuriated when he learnt that Ruto had developed a war strategy that includes propaganda, to either regain control of Jubilee or ship out after destroying it. Insiders added that Ruto first took the battle to the president’s doorstep when his allies leaked information to the press that the president’s niece Nana Gecaga was paid Sh361 million by Jubilee Party for supplying branded T-shirts, caps and other merchandise in 2017 elections.
The leak stated the money was paid to Bora Ubora Limited, a company owned by Nana and her brother, Jomo Gechaga who doubles up as the president’s personal assistant. It added that another niece of the president, Selina Renee Pratt was the person who was demanding payments from the party, even without providing documentation of the deliveries. The leak roped in party treasurer Wambui Gichuru as the one who was ordering the release of the money.
The president suspects Ruto was behind the abortive motion by Nyali MP Nyali MP Mohamed Ali alias Moha Jicho Pevu to impeach Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia.