Raila blames Ruto for Jubilee feuds, says rallies shall go on

Written by on 17 February 2023

Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday accused President William Ruto of being behind the ongoing power struggle in Jubilee Party.

The Azimio chief — alongside Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc Kenya counterpart Martha Karua — escorted embattled Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni to the party’s headquarters in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

They accused the president of orchestrating an attempted take-over of the party by a rival group led by East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) legislator Kanini Kega and nominated MP Sabina Chege.

Ruto, the Opposition chief said, was hellbent on killing the opposition and returning the country to one-party dictatorship.

He claimed that Ruto was using taxpayers money to fund coups in opposition parties, while millions of Kenyans were dying of hunger.

“The Kenya Kwanza administration has launched an all-out assault on our hard-earned multi-party democracy. There is an all-out push to kill other parties by co-opting MPs into its ranks and intimidate all those that resist the administration’s illegal, unconstitutional and anti-democratic maneuvers,” he said.

Spirited assault

He added: “We have never seen this kind of spirited assault on our democracy since the return of multipartism in 1992.”

Speaking at Jubilee headquarters less than 24 hours after the rival group led by Kega claimed to be the legitimate officials of the party, he said the country’s future was bleak. Raila said the current administration is obsessed with killing democracy while Kenyans were suffering from drought and bandit attacks.

“To add salt to injury, the assault is being financed by our taxes at a time Kenyans need those monies for life and death matters like hunger and education,” he said.

 The former premier said the living conditions of most Kenyans were deteriorating, with the government turning a blind eye. “At no time in our recent history have our people lived through so much hunger, desperation, frustration and anger while the government focuses on politics of survival and revenge. Prices of goods are at an all-time high. People are crying for basics like water, food and medicine,” he said.

 Kioni, on his part, praised a decision by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) to suspend leadership changes at the party which saw his team replaced.

Changes ratified

Early this week, the Registrar of Political Parties ratified leadership changes arrived at during the party’s National Executive Committee) meeting, which saw Kioni, vice chairman David Murathe and National Treasurer Kagwe Gichohi kicked out.

They were replaced by long-serving Eldas MP Adan Keynan as the acting vice-chairperson, Kega as the acting secretary general and Kitui Woman Representative Rachael Nyamai as the national treasurer.

 The 32 Jubilee leaders who sanctioned the ouster of the Kioni faction had met with President William Ruto and pledged allegiance to his administration.

Speaking yesterday, Raila said the education system was also in bad state, revealing that children were dropping out of school while others were unable to join Form One because of school fees.

“So many qualified candidates are appealing for help after being unable to pay fees. Up to 30 per cent of pupils have failed to take up Form One positions. This is a monumental failure by the State,” he said.

 Raila criticised Ruto for deploying soldiers to the North Rift before getting parliamentary approval, terming it dictatorship.

“ That deployment, together with the crackdown on real and imaginary enemies like former officials Fred Matiangi, should be of concern to every Kenyan,” he said.

 At the same time, Raila accused the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji of being a huge threat to justice.

“ We are witnessing a very dangerous trend where prosecutors and investigators have merged. Kenyans should be very afraid because there can never be justice. Haji must shape up,” he said.

 There have been concerns over withdrawal of high profile cases, with questions raised on the independence of his office.

 Over the past two months, almost all corruption and criminal-related cases, particularly those facing high-profile persons associated with President William Ruto, and were investigated under the former Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, have been dropped.

 Regarding his pushback campaign against Ruto, the opposition leader said the ongoing public barazas will continue despite criticism from a section of leaders.

He announced that on February 26, Azimio will take its barazas to Mombasa after an interdenominational service in Nairobi next Wednesday at Jeevanjee Gardens.

“We will pray for the challenges facing Kenyans. The prayers will be different from those they held at Nyayo Stadium,” he said.

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