NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 10 – National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has dismissed former Jubilee Party Vice Chairman David Murathe’s views on the 2022 succession debate, saying they are personal and the party remains intact.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Duale has asked leaders to respect the presidency and President Uhuru Kenyatta as an institution and shun what he termed as ‘meaningless and divisive politics’.
“I really want to ask Jubilee leaders who want to reduce the President and his deputy to their community and their regions that it is against the principles of the Jubilee Party in which we formed after collapsing a number of the regional and tribal parties that propelled us to government in 2013,” Duale said.
The Garissa Township lawmaker who broke his silence on the 2022 succession debate that has since taken the country by storm, castigated leaders who have geared up for early campaigns which he termed as premature and instead encouraged them to redirect their energies to focus on developing their respective regions.
But even as he admitted that Jubilee Party was a democratic entity where her leaders had the latitude to express their own opinion, Duale cautioned that the freedom of speech accorded to the leaders had to be exercised in a reasonably and mature manner.
He maintained that the party was precisely formed on the basis of embracing divergent views but warned if it threatened to split to the middle the unity and harmony ‘that is a fundamental component for the progress of the party’, none would be spared.
Duale who did not mince his words was outright that the party would censure the leaders whom he labelled as rebellious for fueling what he described as ‘unnecessary tension and imaginary divisions’.
“I am in consultation with the Secretary General of the Party, I am a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), and as a party we plan to discuss the conduct of those errant members or officials who want to disparage the President and his deputy,” he said.
The Jubilee and government’s mouthpiece also defended President Kenyatta’s development record and maintained that the Jubilee administration will not relent in improving the lives of all Kenyans across the country, in the wake of accusations by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria that Central Kenya has been neglected.
“President Kenyatta is not a president of the Mount Kenya region or of the Rift Valley people but he is an elected leader who represents every community in the country and those who helped him to ascend to power we will continue to stand with the president and his policy on development,” he said.
In a veiled attack to the President’s critics who have accused him of neglecting the expansive Mount Kenya region, Duale said the President will not be cowed by ‘sideshows’ and asked the detractors to be focused on delivering the government’s big four agenda.
“Our party is on course and we want the president to exercise equity in his administration like he did it on his first term. We want roads in every part of the country and affordable health care among other projects and we fully support him in that together with his deputy,” he said.
There has been discontent by a section of Jubilee Party leaders since last week when Murathe declared that the region will not back Deputy President William Ruto to succeed President Kenyatta who is on his second and final term.
On Thursday Duale clarified that the 2022 succession race will not be an ingredient towards the disintegration of the party noting that the party had set out measures to ensure it holds a peaceful transition particularly on who will be it’s 2022 flag bearer.
“Ruto who is eyeing the president has insisted he does not want any endorsement from anyone and as a party I want to assure our members that we will have a free and fair nomination of all the party officials and whoever will clinch the presidency ticket will be fully backed by the party,” he said.