Jubilee MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta now claim Deputy President William Ruto is headed for a major defeat in the August presidential polls as plans to resuscitate the party kick-off.
The legislators have rolled out an aggressive campaign to counter Ruto’s gains in the vote-rich Mount Kenya region ahead of the Sagana III meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
The meeting will be hosted by President Kenyatta at the Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County.
Ruto has camped in the region for the last four years and has managed to get a number of politicians formally allied to Uhuru defect to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
The remaining Uhuru allies led by National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya and Kieni MP Kanini Kega have now dared the DP for a duel ahead of the August polls.
Yesterday, the Jubilee politicians confirmed the Sagana III meeting. It will be at this meeting that the Head of State is expected to formally declare endorsement for his handshake partner Raila Odinga as his preferred successor, following the fallout with his deputy.
Odinga is expected to vie for the presidency under the Azimio la Umoja alliance, backed by, among others, the ruling Jubilee party.
“We are ready for him (Ruto), and after Sagana, we want to meet him on the ground,” Kieni MP Kanini Kega said on Monday.
Yesterday, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth also indicated that the Jubilee party, perceived to be dead, is set for a major comeback after the Sagana meeting.
The leaders donned T-shirts and caps featuring the new Jubilee party colours —red and white– after a recent rebranding saw the yellow colour associated with Ruto’s defunct United Republican Party (URP) dropped.
“We know them and what they stand for. Today going forward, you will see a lot of branded cars and our people campaigning for the Jubilee Party,” Kenneth said in Nairobi.
Several billboards of the President and the party have been erected in Central and Nairobi ahead of the major political declaration.
“We promised, we have delivered,” one billboard read.
President Kenyatta is on record saying that Jubilee is not ‘dead’. During a recent meeting at State House, where he hinted at supporting Odinga, the President said the party has been ‘silent’ because it has been at work.
“Now that the political season is with us, Jubilee is moving into politics,” the President told a Jubilee Parliamentary Group.
Jubilee is expected to hold a National Delegates Convention (NDC) on 25th and 26th February at the Kenyatta Internation Convention Centre (KICC) before making formal their engagement with Odinga’s party. Interestingly, the two parties have set their NDCs on the same dates. The ODM delegates meeting will be held at Nyayo Stadium.