Following months of onslaught in Jubilee Party, deputy secretary Caleb Kositany, who is also DP Ruto’s de facto spokesperson, talked to our reporter, Onyango K’Onyango, on the state of the “Hustlers’ Nation” in Jubilee Party.
What does it mean to be a ‘hustler leader’ following the onslaught in the Jubilee Party?
Life in Jubilee has become very difficult because reason and ideals are muted to disband the small tribal parties and form a party with a national outfit. The dream is not dead, but it has been suffocated.
Jubilee Party is no longer a party in which we discuss issues; it has become a party where decisions are made somewhere and you are supposed to sit there and endorse and if you have a varied opinion, they say you do not respect the President.
It’s very sad that we can be accused of not respecting President Uhuru Kenyatta. I personally have voted for him four times: 2002, 2013 and twice in 2017.
I think what we really require in the Jubilee Party at the moment is to relive the old dream. We need, as members of the ruling party, to go back to the drawing board and search and ask ourselves where the rain started beating us.
As a political party, we’ve become a laughing stock. We’ve invited the opposition into our matters and they are enjoying, laughing at us because now they are driving their agenda inside the government and very soon, we will be left hanging.
With the purge in the party, it’s clear that you’re no longer welcome in the Jubilee Party. What makes it difficult for you to leave the party and form your own as early as now?
Forming another party is not difficult at all. What is difficult is, what will that necessitate? It will mean over 100 Jubilee MPs defecting, which essentially will take this country to another election before 2022. That’s not something we’re prepared to take this country through. It’s something which our economy cannot support at the moment.
Remember we’ve been opposed to having a referendum before 2022. It’s not because we’re afraid of it, but because of the economic situation that was there before this Covid-19 pandemic and now with this virus crisis, I do not think our economy can sustain having an election now, a referendum and then the 2022 General Election. Therefore, we will stay put in Jubilee Party because we still believe that we can convince those who have gone astray to relive dreams of our party.
What is your take on what has taken place in the Senate where ODM senators of ODM have been given committee slots which were being held previously by those allied to Deputy President William Ruto? What if the same happens in the National Assembly?
It is very sad that we went into a vigorous election, [in] which Nasa took us through a rough time. We gave it all our best to ensure that Jubilee Party wins and it’s sad that now we’re giving positions that are reserved for government or majority side to the minority.
Nobody including the party leader has called us for a meeting to discuss his agenda and for us to tell him what we think and have a discussion. We’ve never had such a forum; it’s just that a dream has been muted somewhere. People behind it believe it’s the best for Kenyans and everybody must fall into it and if you do not, you will be crashed along the way. It’s a sad state of affairs that competence is no longer a reason to hold a position but sycophancy. We must stop this top-down approach because even me, I don’t follow everything Dr Ruto tells me. We have to discuss it and reach a consensus.
Those being given positions, we will let them enjoy [the], but we will play our legislative role, and when we will be required to play the role of opposition, we will play it. Those who have found another marriage with the Jubilee Party, let them enjoy, but they should know that Kenyans are watching and 2022 will be issue-based.
Majority Leader Amos Kimunya admitted that his predecessor Aden Duale was not axed because of non-performance but there had to be a change. How will you work with him? Are you planning to sabotage Mr Kimunya?
We have no reason to sabotage the current majority leader but we’re going to be watching very keenly the issues he’s going to be pushing. If the government agenda does not resonate with the people who sent us to Parliament, we’re definitely going to oppose it. We will continue to exercise our legislative role. We’re not going to be ‘yes’ people or sycophants; we’re going to protect the interests of our people.
Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report will be submitted to President Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga any time this week, and you’ve been opposing the idea of having a position of executive prime minister. If it has it, will you still oppose it?
That report is still cloudy. Nothing is clear about BBI. If you ask any Kenyan, it’s clear that it’s an idea that two people discussed and it’s now being used to sanitise people accused of graft.
It’s actually sad that at this time, we’re still discussing the issue of BBI.
If they are proposing creation of more positions and Kenyans support it, who are we to say no? So long as those positions can be sustained by our economy and Kenyans vote for it, then there is no problem and if they are for everyone to contest, them no problem.
Amos Kimunya has come into office after the President declared during Madaraka Day “we are in a Constitutional moment,” will you support him in spearheading this agenda in the National Assembly?
We are waiting for the BBI report proposal, it is not that it will be passed because so and so has said so, we must establish how it will affect our people and what it will cost taxpayers.
If we need a position of prime minister, that can be done even now, Kimunya’s position can be changed to prime minister instead of taking Kenyans through a referendum. But for now, let us wait for it to come after that, we sit in our Jubilee Asili Centre then come up with a stand on it.
Referendum Bill has been tabled in Parliament and MPs are at liberty to reject some of its proposals, Tanga tanga has been championing for a plebiscite to be done alongside the next General Election, how will you handle the wave of Kieleweke and ODM who want the constitutional change to take place before 2022?
That is where we part ways with our colleagues in the Jubilee Party, we do not see anything which is urgent now, it is not a matter of life and death, the current Constitution is not in ICU, first of all, we have not implemented this Constitution 100 per cent, if implemented well, it will serve us, therefore, there is no hurry to change it now. If there is need for a constitutional change, let it be done along general elections, it will save us in terms of resources
Some MPs allied to the Kieleweke faction have been claiming that after the country comes out of Covid-19 pandemic, the President will be busy with issues of constitutional amendment, how will you push for grassroots elections?
As per the law, you know something you cannot escape like the law, the President cannot be too busy not to obey the law. The law requires that the Jubilee Party holds grassroots elections, they have to learn from ODM which is now in bed with the ruling party, if you go to the Registrar of Political Parties) to peruse ODM’s file and ours, the difference is black and white, ODM runs the party as per the law and Jubilee Party is being run as a briefcase party.
It is sad even with our numbers, we are still looking for tiny political parties like Wiper, Chama Cha Mashinani and Kanu to form coalitions, that is why as DP’s allies our next step is to push for party elections after we sought for extension in March, we will meet with them there, they do not have the majority.
If they fail to call for party elections, the consequences will be obvious, it will be a dissolution of the party. After removing people perceived as a stumbling block in the National Executive Committee, the next thing should be a roadmap for elections.
Now that it is obvious that you lost the war on the Jubilee Party National Management Committee (NMC) and Raphael Tuju said the Independent Committee of Jubilee Party approved the contentious issue of NMC nominees, were you involved?
We were never involved and that is the reason you saw the purge in both Houses is because they needed the numbers in NEC to get ‘yes’ men only to push his own agenda.
What is the future of the Jubilee Party and did you try to register Jubilee Asili as a political outfit?
Very bleak unless we get back to the original rail we were on, the future of Jubilee is very very bleak, it risks ending up like Kanu becoming a family party whereby when the retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi (now deceased), it ended up having 67 MPs when the current President was the party leader and after that they went to 14 seats and now it has 10 and their graph is going down, Jubilee leadership needs to wake up and learn because ultimately the power is with the people.
We have never tried to register Jubilee Asili as a party and it is not legally possible to register Jubilee Asili as a party with the current constitution like the previous constitution which saw Ford-Kenya and Ford Asili. We have no reason to register another party now and we are in the Jubilee Party, we have a long way before 2022 campaigns begin.
Why do you want the financial records of the Jubilee Party to be made public now three years after the 2017 general elections?
When you are in a situation where people want to claim that they are holier than thou, then it is time to let Kenyans know the truth.
The way Jubilee accounts are being run, it is very sad and it is funded like ODM is by the taxpayers’. We have to by law we must produce audited records and print them in wide circulating newspapers, this is supposed to be done every year but this our third year and we have not have our audited accounts.
I personally contribute Sh10,000 every month and others but we do not know what that money is being used for, we do not know how many staff are employed, ideally the party should have staff in every Constituency.
We will let the country know soon after gathering enough details, even as the deputy SG is supposed to be paid some amount but am sure someone is being paid and not me.
We are paying rent of Sh5 million per month and taking tea and snacks of Sh7 million monthly and we want to know how this is possible but currently I do not have facts but we will unravel more soon.
Is it true that you are planning to use either The Service Party (TSP) allied to Mwangi Kiunjuri and New Democrats of former Marakwet West MP David Kiprono Sudi and other three which you have kept secret?
There are not only five political parties in this country, there are very many registered parties, what makes people think that we cannot work with those other political parties which have been registered other than those you have mentioned?
If DP decides to leave Jubilee Party, he will not need to form another party but use those which have been registered, so it is not an issue that Kiunjuri has registered a party that it is for Dr Ruto. What is this fear for him?