Ruto: I did three campaign meetings daily as Uhuru slept

The DP says he did all that to ensure Uhuru did not relinquish power to Raila Odinga

In Summary
  • Ruto said he woke up early and aggressively campaigned for Uhuru as the head of state slept.
  • The DP's critics have launched blistering attacks on his conduct, terming him a dangerous leader driven by anger.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands during the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1
HANDSHAKE: President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands during the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1
Image: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto on Monday said he did the heavy lifting that made Uhuru Kenyatta president.

He said he did three meetings on average daily while the head of state enjoyed his sleep.

For the first time on Monday, Ruto also confirmed the authenticity of the viral audio in which he told Kikuyu elders that he almost slapped the President for his reluctance to participate in the repeat presidential poll in 2017.

"I used to wake up, hold three campaigns before the President woke up because he was my friend and there is no way I would let Raila take that seat away from him," Ruto said in Meru.

The DP said all he was doing was aimed at ensuring Uhuru did not throw in the towel and relinquish power to ODM leader Raila Odinga.

"Even if I forced him [Uhuru], is there any problem? Was it not because he is my friend? Allow me to ask, when Chief Justice David Maraga nullified the elections and ordered that we should go for a repeat, did you want him to drop his bid?" Ruto asked.

"Would you have allowed him to leave us in the dark after all we did to ensure he wins the seat?

"Even if I forced Uhuru Kenyatta to be President, is there a problem? Azimio supporters should stop this nonsense.”

The DP has, however, not explained why Kenyatta wanted to throw in the towel after the court verdict.

In their ruling, the Supreme Court said  the election was tainted with irregularities and illegalities.

This is not the first time Ruto is claiming credit for what worked in his joint political journey with Uhuru.

Ruto has consistently claimed the government could have made huge strides in the delivery of the Big Four agenda if he had not been shoved aside from the heart of power.

I was part, to a large extent, of what happened in the first term and in my rating, we did very well...I can tell you for free that if I had the same latitude as I did in our first term, the story would be very, very different,” he said last year.

Addressing a series of rallies, Ruto also lashed out at the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, saying it was responsible for the secret recording of his private meeting with Kikuyu elders last Friday to propagate their narrative.

"They are now secretly recording people and sharing it all over that Ruto pushed the President. Did you want us to allow him to leave the seat?" he asked.

In the leaked audio, Ruto is heard explaining how he left his Karen official residence to see President Uhuru at State House only to find his boss doing what he said he would not disclose because "we are elders."

“When I arrived at State House, he told me he was no longer interested. He wanted to go to Ichaweri. It's only that I respected him as President, otherwise, I would have slapped him," Ruto is heard saying in the undated audio.

The DP has come under immense criticism from his opponents some of whom have questioned his temperament.

The President's allies have rubbished Ruto's role in Jubilee's second victory, saying his contribution was minimal.

"Uhuru brought more than 80 per cent of the votes, you (Ruto) just topped up with 20 per cent. Jubilee would have easily won without you," former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth said on Sunday.

Since his Kenya Kwanza manifesto launch last Thursday, the DP has come under scathing attack from opponents for allegedly targeting to hurt Uhuru if he ascends to power.

In his manifesto, the DP promises to establish a public inquiry as part of what he says is to end “state capture”.

“Establishing, within 30 days, a quasi-judicial public inquiry to establish the extent of cronyism and state capture in the nation and make recommendations,” he said, in what is seen as targeting the President and his allies.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kindiki Kithure, who was with Ruto on the campaign trail in Meru, said were it not for Ruto and other members of his team, Uhuru would have let go of the presidency.

Kindiki, who is Ruto's chief agent for the general election, claimed that in 2013, Uhuru dropped out of the presidential race, fearing sanctions from the international community. It was an apparent reference to the 2007-08 post-election violence.

He and Ruto were charged before the International Criminal Court but the cases collapsed for lack of evidence.

Uhuru is said to have then agreed to back ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi before making a dramatic turnaround hours later and claiming he had been misled by demons.

Musalia is now working with Ruto under the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

“Ruto gave Uhuru the courage to move on…In 2013 I was their lawyer and when it was said that the country would face sanctions by the international community, Uhuru illegally went and signed an agreement to transfer power and candidature to another candidate,” he said.

“It is Ruto and the team that is here that went to his house and told him you cannot change the will of the people, you must be on the ballot and it was me who tore the agreement letter he had signed.”

Kindiki was Ruto's and Uhuru's lawyer at the International Criminal Court when they faced crimes against humanity following the 2007-08 PEV.

Telling off his opponents in the Azimio camp, the DP asked them to stop the hypocrisy of pretending to support Uhuru because they have never voted for him before.

“Even the things you are circulating on the radio on the manner I forced the President…you have no idea what we did to make Uhuru President,” he said on his second day of campaigns in Meru county.

Further dismissing the criticism as baseless, the UDA presidential candidate told critics to look for campaign tactics other than sustaining the narrative just to ‘appease’ the head of state.

“You cannot pretend today that you know President Uhuru and you value him more than us who made him the president, stop the hypocrisy, you have no business,” Ruto said.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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