• Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the presidency is a symbol of national unity and Uhuru as president should not have made remarks which border on tribalism.
• They have accused the President of pulling the ethnicity card to undermine his deputy.
Deputy President William Ruto's Rift Valley allies have dismissed President Uhuru Kenyatta's remarks that it was perhaps time to let other communities lead the nation.
The four Kenyan presidents have come from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities. Ruto, a Kalenjin, is gunning for the top seat in 2022 and had an agreement with Uhuru to take over at the end of his term.
But the President's remarks at the funeral of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi’s mother Hannah in Vihiga on Saturday have been read by Ruto allies as a sign of betrayal. They have accused the President of pulling the ethnicity card to undermine his deputy.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the presidency is a symbol of national unity and Uhuru as president should not have made remarks which border on tribalism.
“In fact, if the National Cohesion and Integration Commission is a serious body then they should summon the President and question him over such tribal and divisive remarks he made publicly,” Cherargei said.
Chesmuei MP Wilson Kogo said DP Ruto had supported President Kenyatta not because he was a Kikuyu but for his ability to lead the country. The two leaders spoke in Nandi county.
Cherargei said they were surprised by the President’s desperate efforts to block his deputy from being elected as president at all costs.
“The President should accept to retire peacefully and let Kenyans elect a person of their choice as President. He is completing his term and dividing the county should not be part of his legacy,” Cherargei said.
The MPs said Kenyans should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights freely without being forced to elect leaders based on their communities.
“Leaders should be able to market themselves to Kenyans using ideologies, visions and development plans but not tribes,” Kogo said.
Politician Jonathan Bii also accused the President of stooping too low instead of playing politics of unity and peace.
Bii said the President as a retiring leader should simply ensure peace and unity but let Kenyans chose his successor.
Cherargei and Kogo said no amount of threats, intimidation or frustration will stop DP Ruto’s ambition for top leadership.
“Already Kenyans have shown support for him because of his performance and efforts to unite all Kenyans,” Cherargei said.
Samson Kibet, a youth leader in Nandi, expressed anger at the President’s remarks.
“As young people, we cannot be told about our tribes if we want to build this country as one people. The future of this country does not lie in tribalism but unity,” Kibet said.
(edited by o. owino)