Nairobi — Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta says the invasion of his family’s Northlands farm was an intimidation ploy to keep him off politics.
The embattled Jubilee Party Leader has remained silent over the incident which occurred at his farm two months ago during the antigovernmental protest by the Azimio La Umoja Coalition.
“They have insulted, stolen our goats and burning our land thinking that they are threatening us. I am telling them to continue but the party doesn’t belong to Uhuru but people. Until they tell me to give out the post, I will remain in the post,” the Jubilee Party Leader said.
He emphasized that he will not be dragged into engaging in insults with his political rivals over his stake in the former ruling party.
“Our symbol is a dove and it means peace. We are people who love peace and that doesn’t mean that we are cowards. If we want to talk let us do it in respect,” he said.
The Northlands farm along the Eastern By-Pass, hundreds of goons armed with power saws and machetes invaded the farm and cut several trees and set others on fire.
It appeared a well-orchestrated raid as the majority of the youth were seen armed with power saws and actively engaged in cutting trees.
Others were loading the trees in pickup trucks with others seen subdividing the land.
The highly charged youth are also seen walking away with sheep from the farm known as Northlands which hosts the Brookside Dairy farm that is owned by the Kenyatta family.
Azimio La Umoja Leader Raila Odinga alleged that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua alongside National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro convened a meeting at his Karen residence with the aim of ocherstaring the attack.
“Respect is a two way streets. Seeing that some of us are silent doesn’t mean that we are coward, get that out of your mind. Do all you want to do, behave like leaders and you shall be respected, behave like thugs and you shall be treated like thugs,” said Kenyatta.
He said he had elected to defer his retirement from politics over surging inter-faction rivalry in Jubilee Party.
Kenyatta who is required by law to have retired as a leader of political party made the announcement while hosting a beleaguered axis of the former ruling party at Nairobi’s Ngong racecourse for a Special National Delegates Convention.
The retired President said given the intense wrangles over the party, he has decided to soldier on.
“I wanted to exit the political scene and I was thinking in the NDC is where I would come out to announce my retirement,” he told delegates at Ngong racecourse in Nairobi.
Section 6 (1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act provides that a retired President shall not hold office in any political party for more than six months after ceasing to hold office as President.
Additionally, Section 6 (2) requires retired presidents to play a consultative and advisory role to the government and the people of Kenya.
In a veiled attack to his successor, President William Ruto, Kenyatta vowed to face his tormentors head-on.
“Some people have decided that their work will be bulldozing and threatening other. Today, I tell you look for someone else not Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Kenyatta.
He promised to relinquish leadership once he successfully manages to quell the revolt within the party.
Kenyatta vowed to defend Jubilee Party which he co-founded with Ruto before engineering his eviction to form Azimio Coalition which fronted Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.
“I am telling them to continue but the party doesn’t belong to Uhuru but people. Until they tell me to give out the post, I will remain in the post,” he said.
Kenyatta spoke amid a duel at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties on leadership changes instituted by a faction led by EALA MP Kanini Kega which announced Sabina Chege as the retired president’s replacement.
Kega, the Acting Secretary General according to changes ratified by a Ruto-backed National Executive Committee, dethroned Jeremiah Kioni who leads a camp loyal to Kenyatta.
Adan Keynan, who was elected a Vice Chairperson by the Kioni-led faction, said the fate of besieged Uhuru allies lies with party’s internal dispute resolution committee.
Keynan said the party would move on with disciplinary action following a decision by the Political Parties Tribunal declining to quash NEC’s resolution installing Kega as Acting Secretary General.
In its judgment delivered on April 16, the tribunal said that the notice for the National Executive Committee meeting issued on February 2 and the subsequent NEC meeting on February 10 which imposed Kega was conducted in line with the party Constitution.
The Kega-led faction moved to expel David Murathe as Vice Chairperson over gross misconduct and contempt to party organs.