A battle of titans between president William Ruto’s government and the opposition is shaping up after retired president Uhuru Kenyatta came out bare-knuckles telling off his successor that he is not a pushover to be forced into silence.
During a well-attended Jubilee Party National Delegates Congress (NDC) at the Ngong Racecourse yesterday, Uhuru presided over the expulsion of rebel party members including the Kanini Kega of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and nominated Member of Parliament (MP) Sabina Chege even as the Azimio One Kenya Coalition top guns graced the function and issued and declared political firewall to Jubilee Party, an affiliate constituent party against onslaught by government.
“They have insulted, stolen our goats and burning our land thinking that they are threatening us. I am telling them to continue but the party doesn’t belong to Uhuru but people. Until they tell me to give out the post, I will remain in the post. Respect is a two way streets. Seeing that some of us are silent doesn’t mean that we are coward, get that out of your mind. Do all you want to do, behave like leaders and you shall be respected, behave like thugs and you shall be treated like thugs.” Uhuru said.
Today morning, president Ruto has convened an ongoing Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group Meeting at State House.
Among key agenda is terse conditions issued by the opposition yesterday.
Those in attendance are Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators drawn from Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga took a swipe against the government saying multi-party democracy is under threat.
“Kenya Kwanza wants to ensure that Jubilee as a party does not continue to exist on this side of the aisle. Just like the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), they want Jubilee dead. In this, the regime is walking on a well-trodden path. Kenya Kwanza is working on an arrangement similar to that of 1964 that saw Kadu walk across the aisle and join Kanu without its MPs having to seek fresh mandate.” Raila said.
On their part, Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua said the ongoing bi-partisan talks will collapse if the opposition is not respected.
“If those who have removed themselves from the party decide to do their own delegates convention then they should know they will be no bi-partisan talks. We will leave them and know they don’t believe in plural democracy.” Kalonzo noted.
Yesterday, the Jubilee party announced new appointees to its National Executive Council (NEC) board.
In the new changes announced by Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni, some of the outgoing NEC members are Jimmy Angwenyi, Naomi Shaban, Nelson Nzuya, Joshua Kuttuny, Mutava Musymi and Kanini Kega.
Others are Sabina Chege, Rachel Nyamai, Advice Mundalo, Joel Kibe and Wangoi Gichuru.
The aforesaid persons will be replaced by Beatrice Gambo, Maoka Maore, Joseph Manje, Saitoti Torome, Yassin Nur and blogger Pauline Njoroge.
Others new entrants are Jamleck Kamau, Maison Lechome, Agnes Nthumbi (Youth League), Anthony Manyara, Nderitu Mureithi and Amina Ugdon Siyad (Parliamentary Secretary).
During a National Delegates Conference (NDC) held at the Ngong Racecourse on Monday, Kioni noted that the party has opted to make the changes after it observed that some of its members have proved to be disloyal to the party.
Kioni stated that on April 28, 2023, a NEC meeting was convened and the members sitting on the board were a no-show.
It was in that meeting, Kioni added, where they resolved that the positions ought to be filled with loyal, faithful and trustworthy members who are in support of the party’s interests.
“They are holding the positions and they have shown that their loyalty is not with us but with others,” he said.
The outgoing members, according to Kioni, have either shown allegiance to other parties, resigned from the positions, or have been appointed to other commissions.
On his part, retired President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the rebel Jubilee Party members to resign from their seats and move on in peace.
Speaking at the Jubilee Party NDC, Uhuru told the rebel members to leave the party instead of engaging in wrangles.
Uhuru, who is the Jubilee party leader, said the rebels can no longer continue to enjoy the fruits of the party when they have betrayed its leadership.
The former President, who moved to stamp his authority as the leader of the former ruling party, said going forward they will embrace peace.