The March 2020 Jubilee Party elections will be a do or die for Deputy President William Ruto as he will be expected to all his crads right to control the party ahead before 2022.
Ruto is aspiring to ascend to presidency after President Uhuru Kenyatta retires in 2022.
The march elections will come at a time when there are widening cracks within JP over Uhuru succession politics with some leaders from Mt Kenya region opposed to Ruto fueling the fallout.
With the terms of the current interim officials are set to end, Ruto sees this as the perfect opportunity to install his lieutenants to bolster his 2022 presidential aspirations.
Jubilee party started in 2017 as a solidly unified party but the 2018 handshake between President Uhurua and the opposition chief Raila Odinga and caused confusion and infighting in the party.
The DP is on record accusing Raila of getting into government through backdoor and causing ‘discomfort’ in Jubilee which he has used to lock in Rift Valley and Mt Kenya regions.
But Ruto will have to find a working formula with the party’s Secretary General, Raphael Tuju. The two leaders have had an on and off kind of relationship but the Sec Gen is key official when conducting grassroot elections.
The Ruto camp (Tanga Tanga) views Tuju as the enemy within working with possible competitors ahead of 2022 presidential elections.
The forces opposed to DP are said to be working out plans to use the jubilee polls to influence in areas where Jubilee has no influence like Coast and Nyanza to affect delegates who will elect national officials.
According to Jubilee constitution, the new national officials will be elected by 19 delegates from each of the 47 counties.
Tuju has assured members of transparency in the much anticipated party elections and he added that the roadmap will be announced after the festive season.
Party elections in Kenya have always witnessed violence, cut-throat competition and folowed by defections. Pundits warn that the DP should not interfere with the process to remain ‘politically safe’.
Poll experts further warn that should the nationwide elections flop, it can result a splinter wing, which can pose real threat to Ruto’s 2022 chances.