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Uhuru, Ruto warn lieutenants to stop 2022 power games

By Daniel Psirmoi and Gilbert Kimutai | Published Sun, March 4th 2018 at 09:59, Updated March 4th 2018 at 10:06 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta shake hands with Mary Waita mother to State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita (Center) during the burial of her husband Mr. Raphael Mwangangi Waiti at Machakos Girls High School on March 3, 2018. [Photo by John Muia/Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto stomped on the emerging 2022 power schemes with a firm but separate caution on their troops.

While Uhuru was dashing the hopes of those who want him to hang on after 2022, Ruto was saying a big no to any attempts to change the Constitution to reorganise top leadership positions, including the presidency.

Speaking in Machakos at the burial of the Raphael Waita, the father of State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, Uhuru said he is not interested in serving in any plum post in government once his final term comes to an end.

Early this week, a group of lawmakers led by Endebess MP Robert Pukose proposed that in case the Constitution is changed and a position of Prime Minister is created, they will have no problem with Uhuru taking the post after he retires

This was in reaction to a draft Bill by Tiaty MP William Kamket that radically seeks to alter the country’s governance structure by handing over power to Parliament to elect a ceremonial one term president. The Bill further proposes the creation of the post of an Executive Prime Minister as head of government and scraps Ruto’s Deputy President position for two deputy Prime Ministers.

“The time of politics is over, now what remains is to implement development projects in every corner of the country. Those interested in 2022 seats will battle it out among themselves, I will be at home,” the President said.

Development agenda

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In Bomet, Ruto said Jubilee leaders should keep off the Bill and concentrate their energies on development.

“MPs should know that this is time for development and implementation of our manifesto. Time should not be wasted on debates about amendment to the Constitution that seeks to create positions for individuals,” the Deputy President said.

Ruto, who returned to Bomet for the first time after the last election and following recent government appointments, used the opportunity to calm locals who expressed dissatisfaction on the county being locked out despite voting to the last man for Jubilee.

“We cannot ignore the fact that Bomet voted for Jubilee and we will not leave you with nothing,” the DP assured residents during his address.

At the Machakos event, Governor Alfred Mutua told the mourners he will be in the presidential race in 2022.

“It is high time we unite as leaders and stop politicking. All of us from Ukambani, including those that went astray in the last election, should channel our energies in development,” said Mutua.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, a close ally of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, appeared to tone down his usual hard-line stance against the Jubilee administration.

Prof Kibwana asked the President to tour Makueni and launch projects. “We welcome you to Makueni when you have time to help us also develop,” he told the President.

Waita, 76, died last Sunday. He was eulogised as focused and hardworking individual who valued his family and had passion for matters of education.


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