Deputy President William Ruto has scaled up his onslaught on political detractors, including those who, like President Uhuru Kenyatta, feel he is raiding their turfs with populist politics.
At a church event hosted by his latest political catch, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Ruto said nothing will stop him from touring Mt Kenya region because, “Just like President Uhuru Kenyatta, my name was on the ballot in the last election”.
“There are people who have issues with me when I go around the country, but I wish to remind them that my name was on the ballot during elections, and like Uhuru, I also took the oath of office. When I crisscross the country, I’m only fulfilling my mandate as the deputy president of Kenya,” Ruto told congregants yesterday.
Although he did not mention names, Ruto’s remarks came after President Kenyatta took a swipe at him during a recent meeting in Sagana. Uhuru, who was meeting leaders from the Mt Kenya region, appeared displeased with the way Ruto was making inroads in his backyard.
In one of the hardest tackles against his DP, the president accused him of trying to get into his Mt Kenya backyard through the backdoor.
And yesterday, Ruto also dismissed pro-Uhuru leaders who he said lack moral authority to question his frequent visits in Mt Kenya.
Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe has been leading an anti-Ruto campaign that has seen the DP’s loyalists stripped of party positions in Parliament.
“Some of the people who are not happy with my visits to this region are not even elected leaders. They must understand that I’m on duty whenever they see me traversing the country,” Ruto said.
Ruto said fulfillment of most of the promises they made to Kenyans when Jubilee took power have been derailed by the ongoing constitutional reforms. He, however, promised to restore the river back to its course after the BBI and when he ascends to the presidency.
BBI, spearheaded by President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, seeks to amend the constitution and among other things, expand the Executive. The duo is backed by other top political party leaders including Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc’s Charity Ngilu.
“We have laid the foundation for infrastructures such as electricity connection and tarmacking of roads among others. However, the vision is being delayed by the BBI. But after the exercise, we shall revert to the core agenda. After the expiry of Uhuru’s term, I’m the best-placed person to ensure continuity,” Ruto said.
If he wins power, Ruto said, his government will set aside Sh100 million to promote agriculture and another Sh100 million to promote small-scale businesses.
His allies from Mt Kenya said the region was solidly behind him as they urged him not to worry about the passage of the BBI Bill in Mt Kenya by MCAs.
Those who accompanied him included MPs Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Senators Kang’ata (Murang’a) and Isaac Mwaura (Nominated).
“All eyes are now on us, leaders from the Mt Kenya region. We must show the country and the world that we are not thankless by supporting Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid. He supported us in 2013 and in 2017. We must remember there was an agreement of supporting Uhuru for 10 years then we support Ruto for another 10 years,” Gakuya said.
The leaders claimed Mt Kenya residents were not for the BBI and claimed that the government bribed MCAs to approve the Bill.
“It is not that BBI has backing in Mt Kenya. They bribed MCAs to approve it. Mt Kenya is for Ruto and if anyone wants to bring BBI to us, he must come with goodies,” Gachagua said.
Kang’ata claimed Kieleweke and the government had a secret plan to propel Raila to the presidency in 2022. “I had the intelligence since I was at the centre of power due to my position as the Senate Chief Whip.”
“The government’s candidate in the 2022 presidential race is Raila Odinga, but I can promise them that Raila is not sellable in Mt Kenya region.The region supports Ruto’s bid,” Kang’ata claimed.
Nyoro said they will not be dragged into BBI politics as they were focused on the implementation of the country’s development agenda.