ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION

Kalonzo to Ruto: You gave all top jobs to Kalenjins

Wiper leader says the DP ignored other ethnic groups in his 50 per cent share of top government positions, hence can't claim to be a nationalist.

In Summary
  • The Nasa trio of Kalonzo, Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi have in the last few days opened political fire against Ruto.
  • Belgut MP Nelson Koech says the 2013 appointments met the constitutional threshold and warns Nasa leaders against retrogressive politics.

Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday accused Deputy President William Ruto of hypocrisy over the rotational presidency debate.

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has launched a scathing attack on Deputy President William Ruto accusing him of dishing his entire 2013 Cabinet share to his Kalenjin community.

Kalonzo, in what appears to be an all-out war against the DP, said Ruto should stop portraying himself as a nationalist. The Wiper boss said Ruto's true colours were laid bare on how he distributed his 50 per cent share of government.

The Nasa trio of Kalonzo, Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi have in the last few days opened political fire against Ruto in what is likely to define the 2022 presidential contest.

For the first time,  Kalonzoa soft-spoken politician not known for combative politicsclaimed Ruto went as far as pushing out some Cabinet Secretaries from other communities to pave the way for politically correct individuals.

The Wiper boss gave an example of former Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, who was bundled out of the Cabinet after Jubilee's reelection in 2017.

“Even Ambassador Mailu would be a minister today. I followed that story very closely with President Uhuru Kenyatta and I was told he [Uhuru] had no problem with Mailu. He would have continued as a minister,” Kalonzo stated.

He said the unceremonious exit of Mailu has left the whole Kamba land without a single Cabinet slot.

“You have a community with not a single minister and you really think you can come and confuse Wakamba with those monies of wheelbarrow economics?" the former Vice President asked.

“Since 1963 when this country had Independence, we used to have at least two Cabinet ministers from that community. This is not tribalism; it is the reality of the situation.”

Mailu is currently the country’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Kalonzo said those are some of the hard questions Ruto will be confronted with when he visits Machakos county to drum up support for his senatorial candidate.

The Wiper boss, who is also the special peace envoy to South Sudan, was reacting to DP’s recent attacks on President Kenyatta’s suggestion to have another community produce the country's next head of state.

Ruto had demanded that Kenyans be allowed to elect their President on merit and not ethnic considerations.

At the weekend, Ruto, in a rare direct exchange with the President, termed the proposal as backwards. 

“We cannot degenerate (to this level) because when I supported Uhuru, it was not because of his tribe but his agenda. I supported him knowing very well that Kibaki was Kikuyu. It was deliberate so that we end this politics of tribe and hatred,” Ruto said on Sunday at a church in Kayole, Nairobi.

Yesterday, Kalonzo took on the DP saying he should stop casting a nationalistic figure when he proved to be the worst when he was in position of influence in 2013.

"Who doesn’t know that President Uhuru Kenyatta got 50 per cent of the government, William Ruto got 50 per cent of the government to the exclusion of everybody else?  At least President Uhuru took his 50 per cent as a national leader,” Kalonzo said.

He added: “What did his counterpart [Ruto] do? Look at the structure of the government, you will be amazed.”

In what appears to be a simultaneous onslaught by Nasa bigwigs, on Monday ODM leader also questioned Ruto’s nationalistic ideology, saying the events of 2013 is still fresh in the memory of Kenyans.

According to the AU special envoy, all Ruto’s appointments were ethnic-based, especially in key parastatals and government agencies.

“When particular people are there [in power], the appointments that are made favour the people from their respective communities. If you go and look at the Cabinet of Jubilee in 2013, look at the PSs, look at the heads of the parastatals. Kenyans can see for themselves,” Raila said.

“You cannot be talking about being a nationalist and when given an opportunity then you basically appoint from your own community.”

Mudavadi’s ANC has also announced it will sponsor an impeachment motion against the DP when Parliament resumes sittings next month.

However, Belgut MP Nelson Koech a Ruto man defended the DP, saying the 2013 appointments met the constitutional threshold. He warned the Nasa leaders against what he termed retrogressive politics.

“I want to believe that every member who was put in the Cabinet had the qualification that was needed and was vetted by Parliament and every region represented,” Koech told the Star.

“Now that Kalonzo is in talking terms with Uhuru Kenyatta, maybe he can use that opportunity to tell Uhuru to shed off a section of Cabinet he is uncomfortable with and has members of his (Kalonzo’s) community considered.”

Speaking at his Wiper headquarters in Karen, Nairobi, Kalonzo backed Uhuru’s proposal that it is time for other communities to produce the next President.

“This is the way to go, accept that we can have unity in our diversity. People hide behind some call to confuse Kenyans so that their community can continue sitting on everybody else, already you are sitting on everybody. We shall speak this truth,” he said.

But Koech poured cold water on the suggestion, saying Kenya is not a monarchy.

“We are not in a monarchy for anyone to request for a rotational presidency. In this county it is a democracy, a president is elected based on the numbers of votes Kenyans would have cast,” he said.

“We don’t want to have a situation where we balkanise the country into regions.”