How Uhuru Can Merge Jubilee With ODM Without Ruto

  • From left: Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative
    From left: Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative
    PSCU
  • In as much as Deputy President William Ruto can wrestle for the control of Jubilee Party with President Uhuru Kenyatta, a loophole within the party's constitution allows the Head of State to sidestep Ruto and merge with any party of choice.

    Article 9 Section one of the Jubilee Party Constitution, states that "The Party Leader shall be the overall Leader of the Party and the symbol of unity."

    Section five adds that "The Party Leader shall promote political harmony and shall have overall authority over the other officials and members of the party." These two clauses seemingly grant Kenyatta veto powers to stipulate the path the party can take, including a merger, especially one with African Union envoy Raila Odinga, which has been a contentious issue.

    A photo of President Uhuru Kenyatta when he condoled with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at Kabarak following the death of Jonathan Moi, in April 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta when he condoled with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at Kabarak following the death of Jonathan Moi, in April 2019.
    PSCU

    It has been reported that Kenyatta's allies were in favour of activating the clause as parties that merged to form Jubilee in 2017 acknowledged its existence.

    On Thursday, April 23, the Jubilee National Advisory Council (NAC) which comprises of two representatives from 12 merged parties stated that Kenyatta was at liberty to form a coalition with any interested party.

    On Thursday, April 9, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Ruto's ally, brought to light allegations that Jubilee Party, Raila's Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Kanu under Gideon Moi had plans to merge. Discussions around activating Section five of Article 9 adds more weight to his claims.

    "While others are taking advantage of the fact that the High Court is not accessible due to COVID-19 to change Jubilee party officials ahead of the merger with ODM and KANU. Roho Chafu! (unclean hearts)," Kuria posted on Facebook.

    Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, Kenyatta's ally, argued that the Head of State would form a merge on his own accord, similar to how he hatched the March 2018 handshake with Odinga.

    "When he shook hands with Raila, he didn't consult anybody. It is the same way he would enter a coalition. He has the ultimate authority, but he would always want to carry the people with him. It is on that basis that he would inform them.

    "Whatever is happening in the party is an attempt by the tanga tanga wing to seize control of Jubilee for their 2022 plans," Wambugu proclaimed. 

    A senior official within Jubilee also proclaimed that whether Ruto had enough numbers within the National Executive Committee, Kenyatta could overrule any decision.

    However, Ruto allies differed, arguing that Kenyatta would need the support of party organs to form a coalition. 

    "A merger is a serious process. I would advise them to join ODM instead of pushing for a coalition which will have to follow the due processes," Soy MP Caleb Kositany argued. 

    Deputy President William Ruto (left) and President Uhuru Kenyatta enjoy a hearty moment during the BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya on November 27, 2019.
    Deputy President William Ruto (left) and President Uhuru Kenyatta enjoy a hearty moment during the BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya on November 27, 2019.
    PSCU