PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Do not impose Raila on us, Ruto allies tell Uhuru

They say ODM chief is an enemy of people, with no track record

In Summary
  • The Kenya Kwanza team toured Sagana, Kibingoti, Kianjanga, Mukinduri, Gichugu and Karumandi.
  • The DP and his team avoided attacks on President Kenyatta unlike in other counties.
Deputy President William Ruto.
Deputy President William Ruto.
Image: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto and his allies on Thursday asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to cement his retirement legacy and stop imposing Raila Odinga on voters.

The DP was accompanied by Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya), Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, MP Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), George Kariuki (Ndia MP), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi senator), among others.

The Kenya Kwanza team toured Sagana, Kibingoti, Kianjanga, Mukinduri, Gichugu and Karumandi.

They have been touring all the counties in the Mt Kenya region to drum up support for their candidates.

The Mt Kenya visit comes a week after the Kenya Kwanza team traversed Nairobi county popularising the formation and its candidates.

Speaking in Kirinyaga, Ruto urged his supporters to reject the ODM leader, terming him as the enemy of the people.

He said Raila was in 2013 and 2017 on record attacking the Jubilee government and thus he should not be trusted.

The DP said the former Prime Minister is unsellable in the Mt Kenya region and should not be imposed on the people.

“You should not be duped to vote for someone who can’t deliver on promises. He betrayed Mudavadi and Wetang'ula and we can’t trust him with our future,” Ruto said.

He added that Raila is trying to hijack the progress of the Jubilee government forgetting that he once opposed Uhuru and refused to recognise his presidency.

The ANC leader recalled how they tried to campaign for Raila in 2013 and 2017 but Kenyans rejected him.

“Uhuru should know that we once tried to market his friend Raila and Kenyans rejected him and even in August, Kenyans won’t vote him,” he said.

His Bungoma counterpart Wetang'ula urged Kenyans to mind about their future by electing the Kenya Kwanza team.

Waiguru, on the other hand, assured Ruto of massive support in August 9 General Election.

The county boss said she will traverse Kirinyaga to campaign for UDA.

“Bwana Deputy President, the people of Kirinyaga love you and I can assure you of their support," she said.

Gachagua said some leaders have been lying to Raila that he can get the support of the region.

"As a region, we support Uhuru in everything but supporting Raila is a big challenge," the MP said.

He asked those imposing leaders on the people not to underestimate their capability to elect leaders of their choice.

The DP and his team avoided attacks on President Kenyatta unlike in other counties.

Political analyst Andrew Maringa said the DP tries to play safe while in Mt Kenya and portrays his relationship with Uhuru as superb.

Maringa said Ruto strategically casts himself as a loyal follower of the President while in the Mt Kenya region, presumably so as not to antagonise the Uhuru supporters.

About two weeks ago while on a Western region tour, the DP said Uhuru had let down a majority of Kenyans.

Uhuru had publicly accused Ruto of doing no work for the government and politicking 24 hours a day.

Ruto hit back, claiming he made Uhuru president.

Meanwhile, Uhuru urged Kenyans to elect a focused leader who is development-oriented.

The DP on his part said the President is out to ruin his reputation as the polls draw closer. 

He defended his track record in government, saying he took part in every project that became a success in the Jubilee administration.

“Jubilee was a joint project between Uhuru and Ruto. I want to tell them that you cannot deny me the credit for the many things we have achieved as a government. It is not going to happen,” Ruto said at a rally in Likuyani, Kakamega county.

About a week ago, while meeting youths from the Mt Kenya region, Uhuru said he will campaign for the revival of the Jubilee party.

He said Raila should be entrusted with the future of Kenyans.

Nearly 4,000 Jubilee delegates are expected to attend a political jamboree where the President will formally endorse Raila's presidential bid.

Uhuru will lead the ruling Jubilee party in declaring support for Raila in a National Delegates Convention planned for February 25 and 26.

Jubilee is expected to invite friendly parties, including the One Kenya Alliance that brings together Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Cyrus Jirongo of United Democratic Party and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua.

Nominated Senator Maina Kamanda on Thursday, during a television interview, said both Jubilee and ODM will hold a joint nomination exercise in Nairobi.

He said the move will help to counter the UDA popularity.

“We are fully behind Raila as Uhuru has shown us the way and we are ready to face off with the Deputy President and his team, especially in Nairobi county,” Kamanda said.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

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