Even as talk intensifies that a planned merger between the ruling Jubilee party, and the Orange Democratic Movement party is in the works, a statement by the Jubilee party Secretary General Raphael Tuju is likely to complicate issues. Amid rumours that ODM is arm-twisting the ruling party into working only with them, and forbidding it from engaging directly in talks with the other NASA members, Jubilee, through its Secretary General, Raphael Tuju, appears to have fired an early warning shot about its working relationship with the opposition outfit, as the two chart their political way forward.
Tuju was speaking on KTN’s Newsnight which was hosted by Ken Mijungu.
When asked about the issue of forming a single party with ODM, Tuju was quite categorical. He stated that they were not planning to fold their parties and merge them, but rather, were simply seeking to form an alliance.
“We may be both Jang’os (Luos), but I think the problem here is a matter of language. We are not understanding each other. Merger means something totally different from what we are pursuing”
He went on to clarify that what they were pursuing wasn’t a merger but an alliance, or a working relationship. He explained that this wouldn’t be the first time that Jubilee was getting into such an arrangement, and that they already have a working relationship with the Wiper Democratic Movement party, and KANU.
He then went on to make the potentially controversial statement that they, as a party, weren’t keen on repeating the duopoly that they had earlier on found themselves trapped in while inside the old Jubilee.
This was a clear allusion to the old working arrangement between the president and his deputy which was exclusive to only two parties, URP (associated with the Rift Valley) and TNA (associated with Central Kenya), and excluded other regions.
Tuju said that there was no way Jubilee would escape a duopoly in their previous working relationship, only to be trapped in another new duopoly with their new partners. He said that the party was free to work with more parties, and would be seeking engagements with other members of NASA, and even elsewhere.