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Kioni says Ruto ‘poaching’ opposition to pursue presidential term limit extension

Embattled Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni now claims that President William Ruto’s ‘poaching’ of opposition is all part of a curated plan to amend the Constitution to extend his term limit. 

Speaking exclusively to NTV, Kioni said Ruto’s inroads into the opposition is a concerted effort to gain numbers in parliament to ease the path for Constitutional amendment something he and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition vowed to oppose.

“They will amend the law from the floor of the House to remove the term limit and there will not be room for a referendum. We will all be left running to courts to challenge that amendment,” he said.

Adding, “They gave this hint when they first came to power. That is why Ruto wants to achieve an absolute majority by all means so as to effect the amendment through parliament.”

According to Kioni, the divisions that have befallen the Jubilee Party since its National Executive Committee (NEC) suspended him, National Vice-Chairman David Murathe, and National Treasurer Kagwe Gichohi, are the latest of many attempts to wrestle the party away from former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said, “Ruto has been trying to wrestle the party away from Uhuru (Kenyatta) since 2021. They tried forming Jubilee Asili, but it wasn’t successful. This one too will not be successful.”

The defiant Kioni on Tuesday called for a National Delegates Convention (NDC) set for March 24 and 25, to address a myriad of agendas among them receiving and welcoming elected leaders in the August 2022 General Election. 

Kioni said the NDC will be cleaning house and will seek to replace all legislators who have pledged allegiance to other political parties.

The former Ndaragwa MP was referring to Jubilee legislators who trooped to State House for a meeting with President Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua.

“If there are members who have pledged allegiance to other political parties, then we will be seeking to fill up their slots,” he said.

Already the party has initiated disciplinary actions against MP Sabina Chege, Kanini Kega (East African Legislative Assembly), Adan Keynan (Eldas), and Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo for instigating an internal rebellion.

Stalemate

Following the announcement of the suspension of the three-party officials by Jubilee Chairman Nelson Dzuya made on February 10, and consequently replacing them with EALA MP, Kanini Kega, as the acting Secretary General, with Rachel Nyamai named as the new acting Treasurer, and Adan Kyenan as the acting National Vice Chairman, Jubilee Party has been embroiled in controversy. 

Since then, the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu has brushed off Kioni’s questions on the legality of Jubilee’s NEC meeting that approved his suspension as the party Secretary General. 

And Kioni has obtained a court order barring the Registrar of Political Parties from effecting the leadership changes pending the hearing and determination of a matter they have filed.

Kioni boldly maintains, he is still the Secretary General of the former ruling party.

“I am still the SG of Jubilee, I have not been ousted.”

 

 

 

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