Deputy President William Ruto and Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju are embroiled in a new war of words regarding the party’s elections, something that widens the rift in Jubilee further. Speaking in Kakamega County on Thursday, Mr Ruto said the party will hold elections early next year. “I’m asking, specifically Jubilee members, that as a democratic party that believes in open transparent competition, each one of us will compete for whatever position they are looking for.
“To kick off the process early next year, we’ll have elections of the party countrywide so that we can have a grassroots network competitively identified to manage the affairs of our party,” he said.
Speaking at Malinya village in Ikolomani Sub-County during a memorial service for his wife Adelaide Shikanga, the wife of former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, the DP added: “We believe a democratic party is suitable for a democratic country like Kenya. That is what we must do.”
Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju was first off the blocks, saying, elections were due, according to the party’s constitution, but “It’s NEC (National Executive Council) that will come up with a full programme.”
“NEC will decide whether the elections will start from the grassroots all the way to the national offices. We expect to hold the elections somewhere after March next year,” Tuju said.
Mr Tuju added: “We didn’t have money but now we have received it from the Political Parties Fund. So we will spend some on party elections after NEC approval.”
But Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri and nominated MP Maina Kamanda accused the DP of trying to stage a coup in the party by “usurping party leader President Kenyatta’s powers”.
Mr Ngunjiri said: “The DP is not the leader of the party or the spokesperson. He’s an interested person, so a lot of what he’s saying must be taken with a pinch of salt because he wants to try and manage the party so that it can give him an edge over any competitor who wants to run for President on Jubilee ticket.”