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Ignore Tanga Tanga, Kieleweke, Jubilee intact, says Murkomen

Saturday June 8 2019

Kichumba Murkomen

Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Kipchumba Murkomen) during the burial of Nandi Governor Stephen Sang's uncle, Samuel Kipkemboi Sang, at his home in Kimuri village, Uasin Gishu County, on May 31, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDUNG'U GACHANE
By NDUNG'U GACHANE
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Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has allayed fears of a political storm in the ruling Jubilee Party, saying factions have disagreed on some matters but still view Jubilee as their shield and adhere to its spirit.

The Senate majority leader said this on Friday, exuding confidence that the storm will pass and that President Uhuru Kenyatta will keep his word and support Deputy President William Ruto.

Dr Ruto wants to succeed President Kenyatta come the 2022 general election.

THE FACTIONS

Mr Murkomen said no attention should be paid to the factions.

“Ignore Kieleweke or Tanga Tanga ... we are all in Jubilee Party. The factions are only singing choruses but we are together in spirit. We are hopeful that the President will support Dr Ruto in 2022 just as he promised," he said at Karingu Secondary School during the prize giving ceremony on Friday.

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Besides Tanga Tanga and Kielweke is Team Hema led by Gatundu South member of Parliament Moses Kuria.

In addition, a section of Mt Kenya leaders have hatched plans to revive or establish their own political parties ahead of the next poll.

STRATEGY

Despite wrangles pitting the DP against several leaders elected on the Jubilee ticket, Dr Ruto and his lieutenants insist the party is strong, will survive and will sponsor a candidate for the race to State House.

A group that includes Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu) has adopted a new strategy for keeping Jubilee alive even as some politicians hint at a merger with the Orange Democratic Movement ahead of the election.

Mr Ichung'wa, who chairs the Parliamentary budget committee, last week proposed the increment of political parties' allocation from Sh300 million to Sh800 million.

Since Jubilee will get the lion's share of the budget, political pundits argue this could be Dr Ruto's plan to flex his muscles in an already established political outfit instead of starting another.

Political scientist Robert Mungai is of the view that Dr Ruto has to maintain Jubilee's unity so he can benefit from President Kenyatta’s political influence.

“Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential fortunes hang in Jubilee because when the party collapses, he will have to start from zero and come up with grassroots leaders," said Mr Mungai.

"This will easily attract pre-coalition deals which will complicate his chances of becoming President. Starting a political party from zero will also prove harder than struggling to keep Jubilee alive as it has structures that he will rely on in 2022."

'NATIONAL REBIRTH'

Even as pro-Ruto leaders try to sustain the party, some who are opposed to his bid claim the party is dead and suggest the Jubilee-ODM merger.

Maina Kamanda (nominated), Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga) and Kabando Kabado say a new political outfit should be considered.

“For the national rebirth to happen, the seeds of ethnic antagonism must die to germinate ethnic cohesion. For our country to heal the wounds of post-independence betrayals, we must transcend and overcome the jinx of Kikuyu-Kalenjin political edifice for inclusive national executive,’ Mr Kabando told the Nation.

Mr Kamanda said, “Jubilee party is dead. Our marriage with Dr Ruto is dead. Those calling for a parliamentary group meeting ... just read the signs of the times and move on."

Mr Ngugi said President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga will push for the union ahead of the election.

“Since the two leaders have the largest following in the country, I have proposed that Jubilee and ODM merge and that the two leaders vie on the same ticket to lead the country,” he told the Nation.

Mr Nduati said the referendum is inevitable and will dictate the positions the two leaders will vie for under one party.