Tuju: I’m good with DP Ruto, but Jubilee has no automatic 2022 candidate
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju has allayed any fears of a fall out with Deputy President William Ruto.
However, he has reiterated that the party has no automatic candidate for the 2022 presidential race and every member of the party stands an equal chance.
“I will be ready to receive every individual who will express his or her interest in fighting for the position if I will still be the party’s SG at that time,” said Mr Tuju speaking during an interview on Tuesday night on Citizen TV.
Tuju stated that his relationship with the DP remains cordial and respectful.
He also revisited the leaked audio of his conversation with former Limuru MP George Nyanja purportedly scheming on how to scuttle Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, which he termed as manipulated.
At the same time, the former Rarieda MP said the party doesn’t intend to crack the whip on rebel members any time soon as it has adopted a tolerant approach.
“We have decided to exercise a lot of tolerance because if we were to take action then there will be a lot of people that would be out of the party. We can only take such actions after NEC meeting but I cannot take action as the secretary general,” he said.
Mr Tuju explained that it is only the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) that can make a decision to expel or discipline any dissenting member of the party.
There has been a growing concern over the silence of the party leaders in the wake of open defiance by a section of its members of party’s position in various issues with a case in point being the Kibra by-election.
A number of the party’s members have come out in support ODM candidate Bernard ‘Imran’ Okoth despite the ruling party also having a candidate in the November 7 mini poll.
Over the weekend, nominated MP Maina Kamanda, former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi took the defiance a notch higher by openly drumming up support for Imran.
Other party members, including Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Rachel Shebesh, have also overtly said they will support the ODM candidate.
But Tuju reiterated that McDonald Mariga is the party’s bona fide candidate and has the full support of the party’s leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I can confirm that the president is supporting Mariga and he was not sneaked into State House as some people are insinuating. I was there and I am the one who took him there,” he said.