Deputy President William Ruto wants opposition leader Raila Odinga to promise that he will respect the law and concede defeat if he loses in the 2022 General Election. Ruto, who spoke yesterday at Full Gospel Church in Timau, Meru County, said he does not fear running against the former prime minister.
“I have heard that the man who loves vitendawili (riddles) wants to run against me in 2022. It’s okay. But for now I am busy implementing the Jubilee party manifesto and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” Ruto said.
He added: “I have no problem competing with him but first he must assure Kenyans he will not cause chaos, and respect the will of Kenyans.”
Ruto said he had given Raila ‘homework’ to assure Kenyans he will respect the outcome of the elections.
The DP was reacting to media statements that Raila will be on the presidential ballot. Raila’s office has, however, clarified that the ODM leader has not declared his interest in the top seat (see separate story).
Other leaders present at Ruto’s function urged the ruling Jubilee party to put its house in order to face off with ODM in the coming elections. Led by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, they accused Raila of sabotaging Jubilee by seeking a unity pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta while strengthening his party.
“As Jubilee, we would be foolish to think there is friendship. It’s political conmanship,” said Mr Linturi.
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He continued, “Power is gained through political parties. As Jubilee members we must stand firm and and tell the President to let us strengthen. We must have grassroots mobilisation and elections so that when the ‘stranger’ goes, we are left with our party intact.”
Those present were Mugambi Rindiki (Buuri), Halima Mucheke (nominated), Charity Kathambi (Njoro), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Catherine Waruguru (Laikipia) and Jayne Kihara (Naivasha).
Others were John Muchiri (Manyatta), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) and Gichunge Kabeabea (Tigania East).
The leaders, who stopped short of dismissing last year’s handshake between Uhuru and Raila, said the President was being duped by Raila’s assertion that he was not playing politics when in fact he had asked his party to prepare for grassroots elections in preparation for the 2022 race.
Ms Waruguru said that Jubilee cannot be used as a platform for political failures to revive their dwindling fortunes.
“We welcomed Raila into our house as part of a pact to unite Kenyans for the prosperity of the people. However, it appears the handshake was not a sincere one but a bridge to help him ascend to power in 2022,” she said.
Speaking at Timau Stadium, the woman rep remarked that it was unfortunate the handshake had been used for selfish gains.
“From the word go, Raila’s agenda was to cultivate political mileage and destroy Jubilee. That is why we must put our house in order and send him to political oblivion in the coming elections.”
Mr Gachagua said the problems facing Kenya cannot be solved through a review of the supreme law.
“Our problems are not related to the current Constitution. Kenyans are suffering because of dishonest leaders,” the Mathira MP said.
He noted that it was time politicians accepted the outcome of elections ‘for a united and transformed Kenya’.
Ms Kihara urged leaders to be honest in their political undertakings.
“We cannot always use conmanship, ethnicity and hatred to get power. Kenya is past that,” the Naivasha Town MP said.
Her sentiments were echoed by Ms Kathambi, Ms Mucheke and Mr Kabeabea who called on Kenyans to resist politicking whose agenda was not pro-development.
The MPs said they were firmly behind President Kenyatta and Ruto, and assured them of their support in the 2022 polls.
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