Ruto allies make U-turn, say they are pro-development

Wednesday May 20 2020
sudi-pic

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, one of DP Ruto's allies who says they will not frustrate President Uhuru Kenyatta's development agenda. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ONYANGO K’ONYANGO

Days after threatening to frustrate government's agenda in both the National Assembly and the Senate, Deputy President William Ruto allies have made a U-turn and are now promising to support President Uhuru Kenyatta until he finishes his term.

Speaking in Eldoret, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and his Bahati counterpart Kimani Ngunjiri vowed that the Jubilee Party Tangatanga faction will not dare do things which will impact negatively on the lives of Kenyans in terms of legislation.

"People have been asking if we will support any government's development agenda brought to Parliament. In fact, we will not frustrate anything including the budget process. The 'corona' in Jubilee Party has nothing to do with those who elected us," said the Bahati MP.

POLITICAL RIVALS

The leaders allied to the DP maintained that despite last Monday's State House meeting which resulted into the removal of Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika from their Senate leadership positions, they will not allow Jubilee Party to be divided to the advantage of their political rivals.

"Our political opponents are praying that our party breaks up. We are in Jubilee to stay and we will support the President in all ways until he finishes his term," said Mr Sudi.

REFERENDUM

Mr Sudi added that they are ready for a referendum.

“When our opponents come up with their line-up, we will also come up with ours. We are not scared of them," he said.

The Nation had learnt that the Jubilee MPs were planning to frustrate government business in both the Senate and the National Assembly as a way of getting back at President Kenyatta for removing Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika from the Senate leadership positions.

The Nation has also learnt that the lawmakers allied to the DP are not reading from the same script when it comes to supporting President Kenyatta to complete his second term, with some saying that they will always shoot down any Bill which does not favour Kenyans.

UNLEASH NUMBERS

"We will unleash our numbers more particularly on what we do not agree with or subscribe to...President (Kenyatta) has taken us for granted for long," disclosed Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono.

But the DP’s side may not have the numbers in the National Assembly as his allies claim.

Jubilee has 171 lawmakers in the House out of whom the DP is said to control a half.

But with Kanu in the mix, bringing in 10 MPs following its post-election pact with the ruling party, the equation changes.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany, DP Ruto’s de-facto spokesman, told the Nation that they will never support any government's agenda which is not of beneficial to the public.

BUDGET

"It would not be moral to shoot down every government business, more so those that touch on the lives of the people who elected us, but a budget which incorporates funds for holding a referendum this year or next year will not see the light of the day.

“We have to be sensitive enough. At the moment the budget must be one which cushions our people against the effects of the coronavirus, floods and not the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and a referendum,” Mr Kositany said.

His sentiments were echoed by Belgut MP Nelson Koech.

"I want to warn the executive that in passing the budget, we will not hesitate to strike out provisions for things that add no value to the ordinary man especially during this pandemic," Mr Koech said.

BBI

This comes as a section of BBI proponents push for the discourse to take place via teleconferences and Zoom.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat Monday intimated that the discussion revolving around reforms that the country needs should not stop but means of ensuring that such discourse continue have to be explored.

Mr Wandayi acknowledged that even with the Covid-19 crisis which continues to ravage the globe, leaders need to remain open minded in spearheading reforms.

"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country must move on and life must continue. We must remain open minded and consider all possible options to move the reform agenda forward," said Mr Wandayi.

Cherang'any MP Joshua Kutuny, an ally of President Kenyatta, said when normalcy returns, county assemblies should speed up BBI debates to allow for a referendum by March 2021.