The nation’s ruling party, Jubilee, has been undergoing a lot of challenges and hitches which started a few months after the General Elections in 2017. Political tensions rocked the nation following the controversial repeat election until March 2018 when President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga met and agreed to work together.
Since then, the party has known no peace and the following are 8 events that have rocked the ruling party since early 2018.
The Handshake – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s embrace with the opposition leader Raila Odinga hit the ruling party to the core. Odinga has received elevated status in the government and has at times even represented the president in high profile events. The former premier denied that the handshake would affect the 2022 politics on several occasions but the pact between the two leaders sparked a lot of problems for many Jubilee members.
Perennial squabbles and infighting- In January 2019, the party was undergoing so many wrangles that the it had to issue a statement after the president hit out at Mt. Kenya region leaders who claimed the president had neglected them. It was so dire that Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria took to the social media to express the woes of the party, telling the president to stop marginalizing the Central region. There has been an endless spate of controversies and fights among members within the party since 2018. MPs aliled to Ruto have been known to publicly attack the party Secretary General Raphael Tuju over what they termed as plans to block the DP’s presidential ambition.
Formation of camps – Jubilee Party has differing outfits. The “Tanga tanga” whose members are alllied to Ruto, and “Kieleweke” which supports the handshake and development of the nation. These two groups are always tearing each other apart. In June 2019, Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara said it was apparent the party now has three factions that are causing confusion.
“Currently we have around three groups in the party. We have two groups dubbed Tanga tanga and Kieleweke and a third group that has remained silent. This is a serious threat to the party,” Kihara remarked.
The controversial presidential rant– The Head of State had the nation reeling on June 16, 2019, when he spoke in his native language and sent a dreary message to all his party members involved in early campaigns geared towards the 2022 General Election.
“I have chosen to speak vernacular and I’ll go around repeating the same. Some of the thugs that you people elected should not mistake me for a little boy to play with. They will not stand in the way that I have chosen and where I want to take this nation. They keep going around the country but they should know they didn’t give me any votes, I am the one who campaigned for them.” the president angrily remarked.
Ideological differences between the party leaders – The members of the party are always at a loss as they have two party leaders pulling at different sides. The party leader Uhuru Kenyatta is totally focused on his legacy by overseeing the fulfillment of his Big 4 Agenda while the deputy leader William Ruto has appears to have directed his efforts to his future presidential bid.
History of Kenya’s ruling parties – Aside from KANU, history proves that all ruling parties in Kenya have not been in power longer than five years. In 2002 it was NARC, come 2007, PNU took over, paving way to the TNA-URP marriage in 2013 before Jubilee assumed the mantle in 2017. If all factors remain constant, then Jubilee would soon follow suit with only two and a half years remaining.
Party membership instability – Tanga Tanga members were threatened that their leadership positions in the National Assembly and the Senate would be stripped off.
Ruto’s alleged assassination plot – The most recent blow came on June 24, 2019 when Deputy President William Ruto raised an alarm that some high ranking government officials were plotting his death. Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industrialization, Peter Munya, on Monday morning narrated that Deputy President William Ruto made a call to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) citing that some CSs and senior government officials were plotting to kill him.
The reports have divided the party’s members with some dimissing Ruto’s allegations and others supporting him, claiming that a group of people are out to get the DP.