Jubilee vice-chairperson David Murathe has dismissed Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid and called on Rift Valley to produce another candidate.
Murathe, who is a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, said Ruto has served his term and should prepare to exit in 2022.
“Huyu mtu ukimuachia dakika kidogo unaona kile anafanya. Sasa ukipatia yeye hii kiti si kutakuwa kubaya? (You can see what this man can do with the little time he has been given. It will be bad if he is given the seat),” Murathe told the Star on phone yesterday.
The former Gatanga MP was referring to the DP as he responded to calls by Ruto allies that the party should conduct elections to “have a leadership with a legitimate mandate.” Last week, Murathe urged Western Kenya leaders to unite and “give Central Kenya someone they can work with” in the 2022 presidential elections.
The remarks seemed to suggest that Jubilee was no longer keen on Ruto as Uhuru’s successor. Ruto allies have criticised Murathe saying his remarks could rock the party.
Leaders, including Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, called for Party elections to replace Murathe.
“These kutanga tanga people should stop blackmailing me because I will not change my mind. I’m a leader who serves Kenyans and not individuals with selfish interests,” Murathe said.
He asked leaders to support the government’s Big Four agenda and avoid making statements that undermined national unity and development. Murathe asked Ruto and his allies to forget intimidation and blackmail to have their way. “Leading a country is not easy. We want a person who will take over from where Uhuru shall leave and continue with the transformation agenda,” he said.
Read: You can have my job – Murathe tells Waiguru on fresh party elections call
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He said Ruto’s mandate was tied with that of Uhuru and that the DP has to go in 2022. “He had a mandate with the president for 10 years and now he wants another 10 as a president. It’s not tenable.”
He defended his opinion saying he has a democratic right to comment on issues affecting the party and the nation.
He asked Ruto to focus on winning the Jubilee party ticket before launching campaigns. “If he wins, I will support him. But he should first convince delegates to endorse him as flag bearer,” Murathe said.