Africa-Press – Kenya. Plans to kick out Deputy President William Ruto from the Jubilee Party hit a snag after his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, intervened, pulling out a last-minute stop that halted the much-anticipated party’s National Delegates Convention (NDC).
Jubilee politicians had outlined plans to oust Ruto as the party’s Deputy Party Leader between November 29 and 30, accusing him of insubordination, disrespecting the Head of State and openly campaigning and supporting the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
However, Uhuru was reportedly irked by the plan, which was allegedly orchestrated behind his back and without his blessings.
Insiders close to the President argued that, first, the event coincided with his State of the Nation Address, the second last in his final term. Uhuru was said to be aggrieved by thoughts of how Ruto’s ouster would jeopardise his speech.
Ruto is believed to have a following both in Jubilee and the country, and Uhuru was set to address a divided nation if the plan succeeded. It was feared that Uhuru would have been booed and jeered by Ruto’s allies in Parliament.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, told a local daily that both Houses (National Assembly and the Senate) received a letter from the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, asking them to expedite necessary plans to organise Uhuru’s address.
“The communication from Kinyua was to inform us as both Speakers that the President will be fulfilling his constitutional requirement as enshrined on article 132 and had sought to have us make arrangement for the same,” Muturi disclosed.
The President was also warry of antagonising delegates aligned with Ruto at the NDC. His handlers alleged that ejecting Ruto before thousands of delegates would have backfired in the President’s face.
The DP has been constantly accusing Uhuru and his allies of pushing him out of government, cutting off communication between him and the President, and supporting former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga for the Presidency.
Uhuru was conscious of the fact that he would be offering Ruto another clear opportunity of seizing the moment to justify his woes. Ruto’s allies were reported to be keen on using the ouster to claim that he was ill-treated by Uhuru.
The ouster would also have jeopardised Uhuru’s succession plan with Raila suffering collateral damage in the end. It is widely expected that the Head of State will endorse the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader as his successor, with the two parties set to sign a formal pact.
Endorsing Raila was reportedly one of the agendas to be discussed in the aborted Jubilee NDC.
Nyeri Town MP, Ngunjiri Wambugu, however, alluded that the NDC would be held a few days after the State of the Nation address.
“First and foremost, Parliament will be going for recess on Thursday, December 2 and it was crucial for the President to deliver his State of the Nation Address before the break. Secondly, President Uhuru Kenyatta is a busy man not an idler like UDA’s Party leader. The Head of State has a busy schedule and will attend to all his responsibilities at a given time.
“Third, I wonder why UDA brigade led by William Ruto is so bothered by Jubilee Party yet they always claim the party is broken. Why is a lifeless party giving Ruto and his UDA team sleepless nights?” Ngunjiri posted on his Facebook page.