• Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the President should not agree to a 'mkate nusu' deal.
• Ruto said the opposition chief’s planned rallies will not distract his transformative agenda.
President William Ruto has said his government will not be blackmailed by Azimio leader Raila Odinga through planned protests.
He said the opposition chief’s planned rallies will not distract his transformative agenda.
The head of state said he did not buy fear during campaigns when the whole government machinery was against him and there is no way he will give in now that he is President.
He told Raila to hold as many rallies as he wants so long as they do not lead to destruction of property.
Speaking during an inter-denomination church service in Embu county, Ruto said he has directed Interior CS Kithure Kindiki to provide enough security during their planned demonstrations.
"I have asked CS Kindiki to liaise with the Azimio principals to acquire their schedule and provide them with enough security for their exercise," he said.
Leaders who spoke during the service urged the President to remain firm.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the President should not agree to a 'mkate nusu' deal.
"We have seen him in demonstrations during Mwai Kibaki and President Uhuru regimes. Let him hold them, but there is no room for handshakes in this government," he said.
Gachagua said handshake is the worst experience Kenya faced and allowing it again would mess the country.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said Raila is seeking to enter the government through demonstrations.
He urged President William Ruto to remain focused and grounded.
"I'm urging you to remain focused. Let him host as many demonstrations as he can, but don't allow him into your government because we know that's what he's aiming," Njuki said.
National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung'wah told Azimio chiefs to have their children lead the demonstrations.
"When the President is busy enrolling the Hustler Fund, others [Azimio la Umoja] are trying to spoil the broth through demonstrations," he said.
"We have seen them nominate their own children to EALA. I want to plead with them to bring their children and let them lead the demonstrations."
The President assured Embu residents of several development projects.
Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire said Mt Kenya East counties have missed out on the list of mega development projects and urged the President to ensure in his government there will be equality.
She said agriculture, health, modern markets and stadium should be prioritised.
"Mt Kenya West benefits from the majority of the projects while the East receives the least. I request the President to ensure the Mt Kenya region is united through implementing projects indiscriminately," Mbarire said.
The service was also attended by among others Attorney General Justin Muturi, Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza.
Others were MPs Muturi Kingangi (Mbeere South), Kiringa Ruku (Mbeere North), Eric Muchangi (Runyenjes), John Paul (Igembe South), Maina Karobia (EALA), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Alice Ng'ang'a (Thika Town), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri) and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town West) and Senator Alexander Muyuyi (Embu).
Susan Ngugi (Tharaka Nithi), George Murugara (Tharaka), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Malulu Injendi (Malava), Hillary Piplangat (Kipkelion West) and Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi) were present.