Stop attacking Ruto, Jubilee leaders tell 'bad-mannered' Raila

Deputy President William Ruto reads the Bible during a service at St Benedict Catholic Church, Ngoigwa, Kiambu county on Sunday, June 17, 2018. He was joined by several Jubilee leaders. /DPPS
Deputy President William Ruto reads the Bible during a service at St Benedict Catholic Church, Ngoigwa, Kiambu county on Sunday, June 17, 2018. He was joined by several Jubilee leaders. /DPPS

A section of Jubilee leaders have told Opposition leader Raila Odinga to stop attacking Deputy President William Ruto over 2022 campaigns.

Three Governors and more than ten MPs said Raila, whom they described as 'leader with bad manners', should stop arrogating himself the duty to speak for Jubilee.

They spoke at the Pentecostal Church of East Africa (PCEA) and St Benedict Catholic Church, Thika, Kiambu county. Ruto was in attendance.

The leaders described the Opposition chief as an insincere leader who wanted to wreck Jubilee the way he has done to the parties he has been in.

Governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta, Nasa), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and deputy governor James Nyoro (Kiambu) were present.

Others were Senate deputy speaker Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), MPs Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Githua Wamashukuru (Kabete), Patrick Wainaina (Thika Town), Dindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Ng’ang’a King’ara (Ruiru), Mpuri Apuri (EALA), Gathoni Wamuchomba (Kiambu woman MP), Jude Jomo (Kiambu), and Ndia’s George Kariuki.

Kindiki told Raila to keep off the activities of the Jubilee Party, saying the Opposition leader was hell-bent on extending the wrangles and confusion in NASA to Jubilee.

"I want to tell Raila Odinga not to extend the confusion and wrangles that has made NASA to be in tatters to Jubilee. We are organised as far as leadership is concerned," the Senator said.

He went on: "As Jubilee, we are not campaigning for 2022 or any other year but touring the grassroots to explore ways of addressing challenges facing the people as well as launching water, health, churches among other projects."

"Jubilee Party is not campaigning because Ruto is our automatic candidate who will take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta when he retires in 2022 alongside Mr Odinga," Kindiki added.

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For his part, Waititu said the Opposition leader was not sincere, genuine and honest about the Building Bridges initiative "as he is now undermining efforts to devolve the handshakes to benefit Kenyans at the grassroots".

"I know Mr Odinga than anyone else and he can’t be trusted. He is banking on a referendum to amend the Constitution to create positions for people like him. But I want him to know that the President has said there will be no referendum, and that’s all."

Ichungwa wondered why the Opposition leader was now panicking despite asking Kenyans to unite in spirit of handshake.

"I don’t know why Raila Odinga panics when William Ruto devolves the recent handshake to benefit all Kenyans at the grassroots," Ichungwa said.

"We will not be intimidated by Raila who has already dismantled NASA. He is not the one to tell us what to do as far as the leadership of this country is concerned. We have faith in the leadership of President Kenyatta and the Deputy President," he added.

Governors Samboja and Muthomi told the Deputy President not to be distracted by leaders who have no agenda for the country, saying his tours across the country were aimed at uniting Kenyans as well as addressing the challenges the people face.

"I wish to ask the Deputy President to continue with his tours across the country in uniting Kenyans as well as focusing on the implementation of the Big Four agenda," Samboja said.

"We welcome you and ask you to continue touring Coast and I assure you that we will work together in addressing the challenges facing our people," the governor added.

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Muthomi said the Deputy President was in touch with the people at the grassroots to explore ways of solving their problems during his tours and had nothing to do with politics as claimed by Raila.

"President Kenyatta told us to embrace the handshake but it’s a pity that when we go to the grassroots preaching peace and reconciliation, Mr Odinga is now telling us we are campaigning for 2022. This means, he was not sincere in the unity pact in the first place," MP Nyoro said.

Wamuchomba said Raila is free to tour the country to devolve the handshake that he had started with President Kenyatta instead of criticising the Deputy President for doing the same.

"Mr Odinga can equally embark on tours across the country to preach peace and reconciliation. No one has stopped him from doing so," the Kiambu woman representative said.

The leaders said they will mobilise their people to back the Deputy President for the presidency come 2022.

Governor Muthomi said people of Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties will rally behind Ruto when Uhuru's term comes to an end.

"As people from the Gema region, we want to assure Mr Ruto that you stood with President Kenyatta in 2013/2017 and during difficult times. We will not forsake you," MP Apuri said.

In his address, the Deputy President said the Government remains committed to the unity and the development of the country.

"The development of our nation is priority and comes before any other consideration," Ruto said.

He asked Christians to continue praying for peace and unity of all Kenyans, saying politics based on tribalism had no room in this era.

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