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DP Ruto, Kilifi governor Kingi scuffle over Uhuru-Raila handshake

By Nehemiah Okwembah | Published Sun, June 10th 2018 at 15:41, Updated June 10th 2018 at 15:57 GMT +3
Deputy president William Ruto addresses locals at Malindi's Sai Eden Rock hotel in Kilifi County on Saturday, June 9, 2018. [Nehemiah Okwembah/Standard]

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has accused Deputy President William Ruto of promoting his presidential bid at the expense of national reconciliation and economic development.

But Ruto who spoke after Kingi asked the governor to forget about opposition politics and join the Jubilee regime.

Kingi told the DP and his supporters who include some local opposition MPs that it was too early to launch presidential campaigns especially in the wake of the March 9 handshake between NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The governor also accused some local MPs of being too eager to please the DP when he visits Coast at the expense of promoting coastal unity and local leaders.

The DP and governor met at an evening function in Malindi on Saturday in aid of the Malindi Education Development (MEDA) foundation at Sai Eden Rock hotel. Kingi asked the coast politicians present to unite and produce a presidential candidate in 2022.

Kingi arrived late for the function and found Ruto and other leaders seated then watched local MPs heap praise on the DP. He appeared pricked to the quick and he launched his salvo.

"I wonder when my MPs say that they will support you for President this too early and they forget that our mothers are capable of giving birth to presidents," said Kingi.

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The governor claimed the handshake between Raila and Uhuru is being tarnished by the 2022 succession politics yet the two are not connected.

"I want to tell you to shelve the 2022 politics and develop reconciliation that Raila and Uhuru started, 2022 will come and we shall battle it out at that stage," Kingi said who asked leaders present to foster reconciliation.

The governor said the peace deal between Uhuru and Raila should not be sabotaged by partisan politics because it had brought national healing.

“Was it not for our father Raila Amollo Odinga shaking hands with President Uhuru Kenyatta, people like (National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden) Duale will not have been welcomed in Malindi today,” he said.
 
“It is Raila who gave us the mandate to shake hands but he did not tell us to endorse Ruto as the Presidential candidate for 2022,” he added.
 
Kingi compared the Raila led team and that of Uhuru Kenyatta to cotton and fire saying that it is because of cooling political temperatures that the two teams were free to mingle.
 
“This two teams are like cotton and fire and they ‘Jubilee’ know us, we did it during the by election in 2016 but now we can sit because our father told us to do so,” he said adding that it was the unity of the Coastal politicians that will enable the region be part of the next government.
 

He also cautioned those spreading propaganda that he had deserted Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho.
 “When I shake hands with William Ruto everyone shouts that I have parted ways with Joho and when Joho shakes hands with Gideon Moi everyone says that Joho has deserted me. I want to tell you that those are just assumptions and they should be treated as such,” he said adding that the purpose of the handshake as demonstrated by Raila was for the good of the country and leaders were free to meet.

And when Ruto rose to speak, he accused local residents of deserting the ruling coalition during elections.

But he appeared to suggest that Kingi was beholden to NASA and Raila Odinga. Ruto told Kingi that he should join him in government because he will form government in 2022.

"You should forget about the tibiim and tialala and join me in forming the government in 2022," he said referring to NASA's slogans during the presidential campaigns.

But the DP also appeared to suggest that Raila-Uhuru handshake was worthwhile.

“We have spent time talking about power and politics and we have now agreed to forget all that and wait for 2022,” he said and depicted Coast voters as ungrateful despite Jubilee's development record in the region.
 
 “You know I will report you to God because what we have done for you is a lot but you even denied us even an MCA seat despite the many development projects we initiated as Jubilee. Those you usually vote for have never brought you development,” he said adding that the region was fond of approaching the government on development but when it came to politics they ran away.
 
“When it approaches time for development and harambees you look for Ruto but when it comes for votes you abandon me. You should be asking yourselves why the people you deny votes always emerge victorious and this is because God sees everything,” he said.


Duale asked Kingi to join hands with Ruto if he was keen of politically surviving after 2022. “It is time Kingi left Kilifi and joined us in Nairobi for nation building in 2022, he is a good leader whom I have worked with in parliament and I know he is a good worker,” he said.


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