Nairobi — Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 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.