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Why Uhuru, Ruto fall out happened before handshake

The DP admitted to almost having slapped the president in September 2017.

In Summary

• The DP has countless times blamed the March 9, 2018 truce between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga as the genesis of the breakup with his political soulmate.

• But the emergence of an audio clip suggests their fallout came soon after Supreme Court annulled the 2017 election, seven months prior to the Handshake.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands during the Madaraka Day celebrations on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands during the Madaraka Day celebrations on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Image: DPPS

An audio recording of Deputy President William Ruto has seemingly lifted the lid on when his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta soured.

The DP has countless times blamed the March 9, 2018 truce between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga as the genesis of the breakup with his political soulmate.

But the emergence of an audio clip suggests their fallout came soon after Supreme Court annulled the 2017 election, seven months prior to the Handshake.

The audio was first played by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed on Sunday at an Azimio rally in Homa Bay.

In the clip, Ruto is hard saying that he forced Uhuru to rethink his decision to leave office in 2017 after the Supreme Court cancelled their win.

The DP said he almost slapped the head of State following his suggestion that they should let the presidency go.

"I left here and went to State House. I don't want to say what I found him doing because we are men...He started showing signs of giving up. He told me he wants to go to Ichaweri. He told me that we quit the fight for the presidency...it is because of respect but I would have slapped him," Ruto said.

On the morning of March 9, 2018, Kenyans woke up to the news that Uhuru and Raila, the leaders at the helm of divisive politics underpinned by insults, had buried the hatchet through a "Handshake".

A section of Kenyans was unhappy with the election due to rigging claims and the President was gracious to accept a handshake for the sake of the country. The DP was unhappy with the truce.

Ruto, Uhuru's principal assistant, has on most occasions lamented how the handshake was the beginning of the end of Jubilee's development agenda - the Big Four.

In his campaign trail dating far back as 2018, Ruto has consistently said the President had done well during his first term until the Handshake came.

Analysts and politicians have equally cited the handshake as a major contributor to the fallout between the two leaders.

A few have, however, held that the bitter break-up would have still materialised even without the handshake as the two leaders had already fallen out.

On Sunday soon after the clip was played, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth pointed out that the UDA leader has been lying that his friendship with Uhuru went sideways after the 2018 handshake.

"He wanted to slap Uhuru in 2017. So that means that they were on bad terms then. The rest of the things he is saying are pure lies," he said

On February 11, 2022, former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said was not a major factor in the UhuRuto fallout but it certainly worsened their relationship.

"When the handshake happened, the relationship deteriorated and that is why it has been attributed to the handshake. Otherwise, if there was no handshake, maybe it could have happened still," Keter said in an interview on KTN.

While responding to the leaked audio clip on the threat to slap Uhuru on Monday, the DP lend credence to the analogy that their relationship had soured before the handshake.

While campaigning in Meru, Ruto said he was not going to let an election he had worked hard to win taken away by their rival Raila.

"Kwani sisi ni wajinga tutafute kiti alafu tuachie mtu wa kitendawili?"

This translates to, "are we fools to let a seat we had worked for be taken by the man with riddles?"

"We are the ones who made Uhuru Kenyatta president by our votes and by our campaign," Ruto said in a statement aimed at the Azimio camp.

Ruto said he sees nothing wrong in having forced the president to participate in the repeat election after the apex court's ruling on September 1, 2017.

"I was the one who handled the bulk of Uhuru's campaign, I used to wake up and hold three meetings before the arrival of the president but because he was my friend I helped him," Ruto said.

"There is no way I would have let Raila snatch the win from him," the DP added.

In an interview on Inooro TV on February 4, Jubilee party secretary-general Raphael Tuju revealed that Uhuru fell out with the DP after Ruto approached Raila so that they could blackmail the President.

Ruto denied the claims saying there was no way he could plot to overthrow a government he helped put in office.

Differences between Ruto and Uhuru have continued to play out in the public during separate political gatherings and official State events.


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