Stop mock campaigns in my name, says Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto and Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o during 11th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) on 29th January 2019 at his Karen office. [PHOTO: REBECCA NDUKU/DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has not approved any campaigns for his presidential bid.

Dr Ruto said he was working to support President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure that Jubilee’s transformational agenda, especially the Big Four, was realised. 

“At no time has the Deputy President approved, canvassed or engaged in any other form of preparation for a presidential or other campaign after the last presidential election,” read a statement released yesterday by his spokesman David Mugonyi.

“The Deputy President, therefore asks those running noisy charades and mock-campaigns to use their energy more productively while those funding the same to find better use for their resources. He also demands that they leave his name out of their shenanigans.”

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West Pokot roadshow

Ruto’s statement came a day after a publicised road show in West Pokot by a group saying it backed his 2022 presidential bid.

The DP’s nationwide tours had also antagonised his rivals, who allege he had started premature campaigns to succeed the President.

The DP’s presidential ambitions have triggered a falling out in Jubilee, which led to the resignation of party vice-chair David Murathe after he declared he would lead a movement to stop Ruto’s bid for the presidency.

The roadshow organisers are believed to be carrying out their campaign to counter the anti-Ruto sentiments.

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But Mr Mugonyi said Ruto “does not and has never approved, consented to or supported haphazard, sketchy, messy, premature political canvassing”.

“The Deputy President is a democrat and believes that campaigning must be done at the appropriate time, in an organised, systematic manner that gives candidates the opportunity to have quality engagement with the people within a political party and based on issues and policies,” he said.

A number of lawmakers and governors have publicly declared their support for Ruto, often running into trouble with their respective party leadership. 

Uhuru has several times rallied the country’s leadership to focus on development and the fight against corruption instead of spending time politicking.

He underscored his commitment to the Building Bridges Initiative after the famous March 9 (2018) handshake with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

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Deputy President William RutoPresident Uhuru KenyattaBig FourWest PokotBuilding Bridges Initiative