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Kenya must have an opposition, Jubilee MPs tells Muthaura

Sunday July 14 2019

Jubilee politicians

A file photo of the Senate's Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka-Nithi), Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen during a press briefing in Nairobi. PHOTO | REBECCA NDUKU | DPPS 

ALEX NJERU
By ALEX NJERU
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Jubilee politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto have dismissed a proposal by former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura for the second runners up in a presidential election to automatically become Prime Minister.

Led by the Senate's Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka-Nithi), they said this would take the country back to the era of single-party 'dictatorship', when there was no opposition to check the government.

“This is a proposal aimed at creating positions for election losers through reintroduction of the office of Prime Minister,” he added.

Prof Kindiki said the first runners up in a presidential race should take the position of opposition leader as it is in the Constitution, and that he or she should not be included in the government.

He spoke at Mukothima Primary School in Tharaka constituency, Tharaka-Nithi County, on Saturday during a fundraiser for the education kitty, an occasion that Deputy President William Ruto attended.

FEAR

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In a memorandum to the Building Bridges Initiative task force last week, Mr Muthaura said the move would expand the Executive and guarantee an all-inclusive government for the purpose of a peaceful country.

But the Jubilee politicians said they would not back an idea aimed at creating positions for particular politicians who fear they will lose to DP Ruto in the 2022 race to State House.

Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki claimed Mr Muthaura was being used by top politicians who are against the Dr Ruto's ascension to the presidency.

“Losers must go home and become the opposition, not join the government to bring confusion and unnecessary internal wars,” he said.

RAILA ACCUSED

The leaders further claimed that the chief architect of the proposal was Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, whom they accused of invading the Jubilee Party family.

Mr Odinga has in the past denied claims that he wants a special government office, saying his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta is strictly aimed at unity, national healing, peace and countrywide development.

Mr Musalia Mudavadi, however, said in January that he was supportive of the creation of the Prime Minister office as part of a broader system of government.

Mr Mudavadi, a principal of the National Super Alliance (Nasa), said that had they formed the government, they would have ensured a review of the Constitution and created the position in line with the Bomas draft.

Nasa had hoped to take over Kenya's leadership in the last general election. The other members are Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, who is the leader of Ford Kenya party.

'FAMILY PLANNING'

Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene and Tharaka-Nithi Woman Representative Ms Beatrice Nkatha said that for sanity to resume in Jubilee, Mr Odinga must get out of the "bedroom" and allow President Uhuru Kenyatta and the DP to plan "their family".

The leaders vowed to support DP Ruto come 2022 and urged him to consider Prof Kindiki as his running mate.

Mr Mbiuki asked Central Kenya people to support Dr Ruto and endorse Prof Kindiki for the position.

The legislator said Mt Kenya East has supported Central Kenya since independence so it is time for reciprocation through support for the senator.

Tharaka-Nithi Deputy Governor Nyamu Kagwima and East African Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi said Prof Kindiki has all it takes to be Dr Ruto's deputy.