Accusations and counter-accusations as Raila — DP Ruto allies go head on
Gloves were on Wednesday taken off as legislators supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday clashed with those allied to DP William Ruto.
The lawmakers, in separate press conferences, flew off the handle with each side making accusations and counter-accusations against their rivals.
The Uhuru-Raila allied MPs, led by Nominated MP Maina Kamanda and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, dared DP Ruto to resign for consistently undermining the Presidency.
In a statement read by Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot, the legislators accused the DP of declaring war on public officers like DCI George Kinoti, DPP Noordin Haji, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and PS Karanja Kibicho.
According to them, DP Ruto’s claims that his life is in danger and that some agents of the “deep state” have been mobilized to “bring him down” are null and void since he sits in National Security Council which exercises control over national security organs.
“The Deputy President should therefore be the last person to complain against government institutions in funerals and roadside pronouncements with a loud megaphone,” they said.
“That can only undermine the authority and mandate of government institutions and may well constitute and offence against public order.”
The legislators also opined that DP Ruto’s supposed opposition of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and fight against graft as well as utter disregard of President Kenyatta’s plea to politicians not to start 2022 campaigns early amount to gross misconduct and insubordination.
“The authority and respect of the government has been subverted by the integrity issues facing the Deputy President,” they added.
“In fact the question of the rectitude and forthrightness of the Deputy President has always clouded the character of the Deputy President right from the beginning as his public record has constantly been fraught with concerns and controversies about his ethical probity ranging from the grabbing of public and private land to participation in fraudulent deals.”
They further cited maize scandals, contentious land on which Weston hotel sits, Arror and Kimwarer dam projects, arms deals, as well as the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project as some of the scandals the DP’s name has reportedly been mentioned in.
“William Ruto must shape up or ship out. He needs time and undivided attention to pursue the only thing and ambition that makes sense and has meaning in his life – Dream to campaign for the 2022 presidential elections,” they concluded.
DP Ruto’s allies however, in a strongly-worded rebuttal issued at Parliament grounds, defended the country’s second- in-command and, in turn, cast aspersions on the character of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The MPs, taking a trip down memory lane, accused Mr. Odinga of hatching “an evil scheme” to fix President Kenyatta and DP Ruto at the ICC after his handshake with retired President Mwai Kibaki following the bloody 2007 post-election crisis.
“By refusing to concede defeat, Raila held President Kibaki’s government hostage forcing the international community to intervene; and Raila, through intimidation and coercion, forced a handshake with President Kibaki,” they stated.
“Once he achieved power, he quickly hatched a plan against perceived political leaders whom he felt would be a stumbling block in his plan to succeed Kibaki.”
The MPs – among them Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), and Milicent Omanga (Nominated Senator) – stated that despite the alleged scheme, DP Ruto stuck with President Kenyatta and worked tirelessly to ensure they won the presidency, twice.
“Raila out of desperation attempted to do what he did in 2007 by not only refusing to concede defeat but inciting his supporters to violence, advocating for secession of certain parts of the country and, in a blatant act of treason, swearing himself in as a parallel president,” they stated.
“In an act of great statesmanship and in an effort to hold the country together, President Uhuru Kenyatta extended a hand of friendship to Raila. Sadly, Raila Odinga in his classic style and manner has converted the handshake into a tool of political deceit and conmanship.”
According to the MPs, Mr. Odinga is only using the BBI to satisfy his “appetite for power”, and that he is replaying the same alleged script he used on the late retired president Daniel Moi, his successor Kibaki and now President Kenyatta.
They added that the former premier has hijacked the Head of State’s vision of the BBI process and is now using it to go round the country insulting the DP.
“The president has not complained about his deputy neither has he sent anybody to do so on his behalf,” they stated.
“ODM cannot lecture us on loyalty and respect for Uhuru Kenyatta. If loyal-metre is being used to measure loyalty to Uhuru Kenyatta, then the measuring tool itself is the Deputy President.”
The lawmakers added: “No one has sacrificed more for President Uhuru Kenyatta than DP Ruto. From the time Uhuru was MP up to now, Ruto has not only been his loyal friend but also a committed supporter.”
They also hinted at an alleged meeting set for Thursday between leaders allied to Mr. Odinga to bring an impeachment motion against DP Ruto as well as plans to reconstitute the government to ensure ODM occupies half of the cabinet.
The MPs further accused of Mr. Odinga of being desperate to occupy DP Ruto’s place in government saying the ODM party chief is using the DCI to plan accusations against the DP including the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal as well as the recent Rashid Echesa arms deal drama.