JUBILEE SPLIT

Ruto allies allege another plot to oust him

DP's allies claim his roles would be taken over by other people in government.

In Summary
  • The DP's allies however maintained that the DP was in government to stay despite the humiliation.
  • The DP confidants claim of a plan being executed to render him jobless and cut his budget.
Deputy President William Ruto addresses the press from his Karen office on April 9.
DP RUTO: Deputy President William Ruto addresses the press from his Karen office on April 9.
Image: DPPS

Allies of DP William Ruto have accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of spearheading a scheme to force his deputy to resign from government.

The DP's confidants alleged that they were aware of a plan to render him jobless by assigning his roles to someone else.

The DP on Saturday stirred a storm when he alleged that, despite his contribution to Uhuru's victories in 2013 and 2017, a scheme was afoot to elbow him out of government.

"There are people plotting to push me out of the government. When we formed this government, President Kenyatta was with me or with the political conmen that are with him?” Ruto asked a charged crowd in Kabarnet on Saturday.

His remarks came just a week after the President dared him to leave government if he is dissatisfied.

On Sunday, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua told the Star they were aware of a plan to create a powerful office in the office of the President in a bid to render Ruto irrelevant in government.

The politician cited what he termed as blatant disregard to the rule of law by the government on many other issues as testimony that “anything was possible in the Uhuru administration” going forward.

“We live in this country and have seen what is going on and therefore we know anything is possible including creating offices that are not provided for in the Constitution,” Gachagua. said.

The claims came as influential bloggers coalescing around the DP's Tangatanga movement reported that there was a plan by the state to create a powerful position to be named the 'Vice President's office.'

However, the VP's position, which was an appointee of the President, was scrapped by the 2010 Constitution and renamed the Deputy President's office with a constitutional tenure.

Gachagua, one of Ruto's closest associates, also alleged a plan to under-fund the DP's office  through drastic budget cuts aimed at curtailing his operations.

Gachagua said the DP has already been relegated to the periphery claiming he is not invited to cabinet meetings and his roles purportedly reassigned to Interior CS Fred Matiang'i.

“He (Ruto) has already been isolated and rendered jobless, basically he has no role at all at the moment and despite all that there is nothing they can do to kick him out because he is not an appointee of anyone,” he said.

He went on: “They can deny him roles but the can't remove him from office because impeaching him is not possible, they will have to tolerate him for the time being.”

 

Deputy President William Ruto with Tangatanga MPs at his Karen home
Deputy President William Ruto with Tangatanga MPs at his Karen home

Ruto men claim an initial plan to remove Ruto from office by impeachment had flopped after its architects allegedly sensed defeat, resulting in a change of strategy to force him out.

According to Ruto's lieutenants, part of the plan to frustrate him also involves blocking him from attending cabinet meetings as the country's second in command and reassigning his duties to his juniors in government.

Despite the humiliation, his allies said, Ruto will not resign from government until his term expires next year August.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said the DP will not resign from government because he has a constitutional mandate.

“The President will have to find a way of working with his deputy because their marriage was sealed by Kenyans when they voted for them,” he said.

Matiang'i holds a a lot of sway in government as chairperson of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee.

The committee which brings together all Cabinet secretaries was established through an executive order by the President in 2018, giving Matiang'i overall supervisory mandate on projects.

Matiang'i's elevation denied Ruto any role in national projects which he frequently launched during Jubilee's first term.

On Thursday, Ruto was a no-show at State House when Uhuru chaired a high-level meeting with top national executive officers.

Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta
NO LONGER AT EASE: Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta
Image: FILE

During the meeting, Matiang'i took over the seat next to the President at the high table usually reserved for Ruto.

The meeting was preceded by days of a bitter exchanges between Uhuru and Ruto.

Ruto fired back saying he was going nowhere and would instead continue to discharge his mandate as the country's second in command.

On Sunday, Kimilili MP Didmas Barasa maintained that the DP was widely being frustrated by state functionaries to resign before next year.

“They want to anger the deputy president by all means possible including making his stay in government untenable,” Barasa said.

He went on: “There is nothing they have not done to him, they have isolated him in the party, they don't involve him in serious decisions and people allied to him are being tarted so that they can anger him,” Barasa said.

Embakasi North MP James Gakuya told the Star that the DP's critics in government wants to employ all means possible including humiliation in public so that he can resign.

“Some of the state officers might now be given instructions to ignore the deputy President and even sabotage his operations to embarrass him the more, but he is ready for that,” he said.

Those scheming on how to even relocate the office of the deputy president from Karen are the very people working day and night to block his 2022 campaigns.

“Ruto can work from anywhere, but it should be noted that his office must be respected and facilitated as a constitutional office,” he said.