Former Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe continued with his onslaught against Deputy President William Ruto, with fresh claims that the law does not explicitly bar the President from serving extra terms in office.
Mr Murathe, who resigned from his party position three weeks ago, also claimed that the anti-corruption conference held last week was convened to discuss Dr Ruto and that he was surprised to see him in attendance.
The former Gatanga MP said he was happy that his lone efforts to stop Dr Ruto from assuming the top office had started bearing fruit after President Uhuru Kenyatta recently acted to curtail his powers.
“I am glad that Mr Ruto has been put in his place and government work is now properly streamlined; so we’ll no longer see him going around the country again in the guise of touring development projects,” Mr Murathe said.
In apparent reference to Executive Order 1 of 2019 issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the former Jubilee vice-chairman said the excuse Dr Ruto used to make himself busy touring the country and marketing his presidential bid was gone.
The order empowers Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to chair Cabinet technical committees and supervise government projects, bypassing the DP
Addressing a gathering of Kamba leaders at Wiper party chief Kalonzo Musyoka’s Yatta farm on Tuesday, he said after the President’s executive order, it was clear that no leader should visit any region to take credit for ongoing government projects or lie to the people that he has initiated any development projects.
“Watu wasije hapa kuwandanganya eti wameleta maendeleo Ukambani. Ni haki yenu na hakuna haja ya kutangatanga,” (Leaders shouldn’t come here to peddle lies that they are initiating development in Ukambani. It is your right), he said.
Citing the Sh63 billion Thwake dam and the Kitui-Kibwezi road, both now under construction, he alleged that Dr Ruto was hoping to use such projects to woo the Kamba community when he tours the region.
Mr Murathe vowed to do anything possible in his capacity to stop Dr Ruto from succeeding President Kenyatta in 2022, including seeking constitutional interpretation of Dr Ruto’s eligibility in court.
He said there are serious legal implications in Dr Ruto’s candidature, and that he intends to seek an explanation from courts because the current law is ambiguous and open to various interpretations.
“If the legal basis for the DP’s candidacy is that he’s running for a different office from one he occupied in the two terms, then what stops President Kenyatta also contesting and serving as deputy president?” he posed amid cheers.
In such a scenario, he argued, President Kenyatta or any other holder of that office can easily end up serving the country for more than two terms if his boss becomes incapacitated.
“There is no law barring President Kenyatta serving as deputy to another President, and the same law says the deputy president assumes office automatically his or her boss becomes incapacitated,” he said, adding there are gaps in the law that need proper interpretation.
Lawyer Nzamba Kitonga welcomed Mr Murathe’s plan to seek a constitutional interpretation of the matter, but said the Dr Ruto is only barred by law to serve again as deputy president.
“The DP can run for President and serve legally, but it’s true there’s no legal provision stopping any President from coming back to serve as a deputy to another President,” Mr Kitonga said.
The lawyer, who chaired the Committee of Experts that drafted the 2010 Constitution, explained the law only infers or assumes that a President would not be willing or tempted to go for a lower office after serving in the highest office in the land.