Jubilee is alive and kicking, asserts Uhuru
Jubilee is alive and kicking, asserts Uhuru
By Paul Munene
President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed politicians who've been saying that Jubilee Party was nolonger a major political player in the country saying the ruling party has been busy at work implementing its pre-election pledges.
“But the reality of the matter is this: Jubilee is not only alive; it is alive and it is well,” President Kenyatta, who is the Jubilee Party Leader, said.
The President spoke at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi County where he presided over the party's National Delegates Conference (NDC).
Contrary to the narrative perpetuated by its opposers, the President said the Jubilee Party administration had registered tremendous successes during its tenure key among them the doubling of Kenya's GDP from Sh5 trillion to Sh11 trillion.
The President termed politicians who chose to abandon Jubilee Party as untruthful and bitter self-seekers who unsuccessfully attempted to sabotage the ruling party from within.
“There are those who said they pulled out of the party because it was dead. When they could not explain why the work of nation building by the ruling party was going on even after their departure, they started saying they were removed from the party which is not true,” President Kenyatta said.
He said political leaders who abdicated their responsibilities in Government and the ruling party to engage in early political campaigns were largely motivated by unmitigated personal ambition.
“There is nothing wrong with ambition but ambition must be controlled. Uncontrolled ambition is like an unguided missile that can cause harm and untold destruction,” the President said.
On his 'handshake' with ODM leader Raila Odinga, the President said the closing of political ranks was aimed at restoring peace during the difficult post-election period when a section of the country was considering secession.
Citing the example of the 2013 grand coalition government that was led by retired President Mwai Kibaki and Raila, the President wondered why some politicians were bitterly opposed to the 'handshake'.
“The main objective of our ‘handshake’ with Baba (Raila) was peace. We agreed that we needed to have a constitutional order that ensures that our country remains not just united but peaceful and that people can engage freely in competitive politics,” he said.
Once again, the President refuted political claims that opposition leaders led by Raila had joined the Government through the handshake thereby disrupting the country's development agenda.
“I heard some people say that they have not seen a country like Kenya where the Government and the opposition are working together, my answer to them is that they see it in Kenya because they need to be mature enough to distinguish between politics and the needs of our people,” President Kenyatta said.
Several political party leaders who spoke at the NDC applauded President Kenyatta for his impressive development record and visionary leadership saying he ensured that Kenya remains peaceful, stable and progressive.
ODM leader Raila Odinga said the 'handshake' helped to diffuse the political tension that had threatened to tear Kenya apart following the disputed presidential results of 2017 general election.
"You know the country was going down the drain and you heard us calling for boycott of some particular products," the ODM leader said while giving a blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to the 'handshake'.
Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) had resolved to join hands with Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta in 'Azimio La Umoja' political formation saying discussions were underway to settle on a single presidential candidate for the august polls.
"We are committed to ensuring one nation and one people. We have began structured talks to build a strong nation. This is not the time for name calling, it is a time to build a proud nation among the community of nations," Mr Musyoka said.
During the NDC, Jubilee Party members endorsed several changes in the party's structure including new leaders and party symbols.
In the changes, founding Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju stepped down from the position and was replaced by Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.