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Political parties in turmoil with eyes on 2022 elections

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Political parties in turmoil with eyes on 2022 elections by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 09:58am
An implosion in the ruling Jubilee, an attempted coup in Ford-Kenya, a simmering fallout in Wiper, and resignations in the Amani National Congress have marked party wars in 2020 as politicians reshape their interests ahead of the 2022 General Election.

In Jubilee, the Handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in March 2018 has driven a wedge so big between the Head of State and Deputy President William Ruto that the DP has now been barred from accessing the party headquarters.

“The Deputy President, a self-declared 2022 presidential candidate, will not be allowed to use the Jubilee Party headquarters as a centre of operationalisation of his hustler politics and to intimidate would-be opponents,” Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju said in October, a day after the DP stormed the Pangani-based headquarters with 40 MPs allied to him.


Strike out DP’s name
Mr Tuju also said the party National Management Committee (NMC) had recommended to the National Executive Committee (NEC), chaired by the President and in which the DP sits, to strike out the DP’s name as the deputy party leader for what the top official said was associating with Jubilee Asili, an office the Ruto group had opened in Kilimani.

Read: Jubilee at a crossroads as factions fight for its soul

But the DP would hear none of it, and in an interview last week, was defiant that no one could kick him out of the party he helped form.

“For anybody to raise an issue with my being in the Jubilee Party is not news. In fact, I will be making more trips to the headquarters because we have to prepare the party for the next elections,” he said early this month.

Extensive purge
So vicious was the implosion in Jubilee that it saw the removal of Mr Kipchumba Murkomen and Mr Aden Duale as the Senate and National Assembly majority leaders, respectively, Ms Susan Kihika and Mr Benjamin Washiali as the majority whips in the Senate, and the National Assembly, respectively, and various committee chairs in favour of Uhuru-leaning MPs in the most extensive purge in Parliament in recent history.

The evictions also saw the DP’s influence in the NEC — the party’s powerful decision-making organ — dwindle, as the House leaders are members of the NEC by virtue of their positions.

In Ford-Kenya, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula is facing an internal coup from a faction led by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and his Tongaren counterpart Eseli Simiyu (the party secretary-general) in what has seen the Simba party torn to pieces.

The two factions have been on countless trips to both the office of the Registrar of Political Parties and corridors of justice in a bid to claim legitimacy for the positions taken.

In separate interviews with the Nation at the height of the coups and counter coups, Dr Simiyu said Mr Wetang’ula had to be ousted for the party to regain its lost glory. “We opted not to live on our knees under Wetang’ula but die while standing. This is a battle for better leadership in the party,” Dr Simiyu said.

The decision to oust Mr Wetang’ula as the party leader was arrived at on Sunday, May 31, after the party’s special National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at Nairobi’s Radisson Blu Hotel.

The party NEC accused the Bungoma senator of gross misconduct and failing to champion unity in the party as well as failing to reconcile warring members to eliminate friction in the party.

Mr Wetang’ula has remained unmoved, and blamed the wrangles in the party to outside forces who want him out.

Tranquil environment
“Discipline is the cardinal principle in our party. This journey will not be possible if there are cases of indiscipline. Ford-Kenya will field a presidential candidate in 2022 and we need that to be done in a tranquil environment and camaraderie. We cannot do so if some of our members are saboteurs acting on behalf of others,” Mr Wetang’ula told the Nation in an earlier interview.

With no respite in sight for Ford-Kenya, 2021 looks even bleaker for it, unless the two factions set aside their differences and collaborate ahead of the 2022 polls.

Wiper, too, has had its fair share of turmoil in 2020, with one of its key members and financier, former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama, breaking ranks with party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Mr Muthama, who is now in the inner circle of the DP, described Mr Musyoka as a politician who does not have a firm stand on anything and whom he has helped financially and politically.

Personal agents
“I’m surprised that Kalonzo has been saying I’ve misled him politically; I think I need to write a book to show Kenyans how I’ve helped him. In the 2007 elections, I even paid his personal agents across all polling stations,” Mr Muthama said.

Mr Musyoka claimed Mr Muthama was pushing him to have a joint ticket with DP Ruto ahead of the 2022 elections.

“I’ll not allow you to mislead me a third time because you have failed me twice. I’ll be my own negotiator in national politics. So, take a message to DP Ruto that we’ll face off at the ballot,” Mr Musyoka told Mr Muthama.


Mr Mudavadi’s ANC saw the twin exit of secretary-general Barrack Muluka and Kibra parliamentary hopeful Eliud Owalo, who ditched him for Ruto, but the former vice-president has maintained a studious stance, vowing to stay strong in his bid to clinch the presidency in 2022.

palangat@ke.nationmedia.com smundu@ke.nationmedia.com

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