A showdown is looming in the ruling Jubilee Party after allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement chief Raila Odinga threatened to change the party’s leadership in the National Assembly and Senate.
Lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday laughed off the threat, saying it is a plot by the DP’s competitors who are out to break their party.
Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono dared those who want to spearhead the removal of Mr Kipchumba Murkomen as Senate Majority Leader, Mr Aden Duale as National Assembly Majority Leader and National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali from their positions to do so “and see how we will paralyse the business of both Houses”.
“Murkomen and Duale cannot be touched,” Mr Rono told the Nation by phone.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech criticised Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala for threatening to table a motion to change the House leadership, saying Mr Malala is a nobody in Jubilee.
He said such changes can only be done through a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting.
“Who is Malala to suggest that the Jubilee House leadership should be changed? On what basis should the two be removed? These busybodies do not understand what Murkomen and Duale have done to the government,” Mr Koech said.
“Our opponents think they can dictate to us what to do in our party. Just recently, they wanted the President to remove certain individuals from the Cabinet.”
On Saturday during the BBI consultative meeting at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Senator Malala and Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi joined the debate on removing Mr Murkomen and Mr Duale from their posts in the two Houses.
Sources told the Nation that MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Joshua Kutuny (Cherang’any), Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa) and Muturi Kigano (Kangema) are discussing the move.
Mr Koech’s sentiments were echoed by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, who said those not happy with Mr Ruto succeeding the President want to scuttle his ambitions.
“Those used to deceitful politics are out to ensure our party is destroyed. Let them know that they will not succeed in their plans. We have plans too,” Mr Sudi said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Aldai MP Cornelius Serem told Mr Odinga and his team to stop using the BBI as a weapon to meddle in Jubilee affairs.
“Suggesting changes in Senate and National Assembly leadership is pedestrian talk,” Mr Cherargei said.
“The ones saying that are not Jubilee members. Let them resign from their parties and move to Jubilee. We will not allow Raila and his team to destroy our party.”
Mr Serem said Jubilee has not been declared incapacitated and so there is no point making claims meant to finish Mr Ruto, whom he described as an equal shareholder in the party just as Mr Kenyatta.