NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – Deputy President William Ruto returned to Jubilee Party headquarters on Thursday a week after making a similar visit to face unallied party officials over a contested decision by the party to bow out of the Msambweni parliamentary by-election.
During his visit which lasted hours, the ruling party’s Deputy Leader was accompanied by thirty-eight allied lawmakers including vocal backers from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya turf.
Ruto’s visit attracted speculation with leaders within the ruling party who have voiced opposition against him terming it as an ‘attempted coup’, the visit coming at a time the Head of State is out of the country for a State visit in France.
“These are interesting times indeed! That working from Jubilee HQs where I am the duly elected deputy party leader is considered news. Our focus is on efforts that are complementary to achieving our shared aspirations while ensuring that no one is left behind for whatever reason,” the DP tweeted.
Ruto, whose allies had accused some party officials of locking out a section of party members from the Pangani-based headquarters, is understood to have vowed to pitch tent at the ruling party’s nerve centre in a bid to expel individuals he accuses of misgoverning the political entity.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi dismissed claims by Nyeri legislator Ngunjiri Wambugu that Ruto’s visit amounted to a coup within the party saying members had a right to visit whenever they so wish.
“These are the members of the Jubilee Party. We had a meeting to exchange ideas. There was no coup and there is no coup in our party,” Linturi said.
Kandara MP Alice Wahome who was among the lawmakers who accompanied the DP said they will not be intimidated.
“This therefore does not amount to a coup in the party because you cannot cause a coup in your own house or government. It would be unfortunate for anyone to call it a coup,” Wahome. A fierce defender of the DP sated.
Ruto made a similar visit to the party on September 23 after Secretary General Raphael Tuju announced the decision to pull out of the Msambweni parliamentary by-election in favor of Raila Odinga’s ODM.
He failed to persuade the party to reconsider the decision.