I will not let Raila split Jubilee over handshake, Ruto says

Deputy President William Ruto greets women outside St Martin Catholic Church Karuri in Kiambu County. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday kept up his attack on Opposition leader Raila Odinga, accusing him of hypocrisy.

Speaking at events in Kiambu and Kajiado, Dr Ruto said he would not allow the ODM leader to split Jubilee under the guise of the handshake deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

After attending a church service in Banana, Kiambu, the DP flew to Kajiado where he was greeted by a crowd that waved banners declaring their support for his 2022 presidential bid.

Alluding to a Bible verse in a thinly veiled reference to Raila, Ruto asked Jubilee Party members to be wary of leaders who looked harmless but had ill intentions.

“Be wary of false prophets. They are just clothed with sheepskin but are wolves,” he said later at a fundraiser in ACK St Peter Emakoko in Kajiado County.

Ruto said it was taking time to unite the country, as "some people have a history of sowing division".

"Kuna watu wengi ingawa tunajaribu kuwafundisha mambo ni kuweka waKenya pamoja, mambo ni maendeleo kwa sababu walizoea kugawana, fujo, ukabila... inachukua muda lakini watazoea ndio tuendelee kufanya mambo ya maendeleo na kuweka wakenya pamoja," he said in Kiswahili.

Political leaders present vowed unwavering support for Ruto and the Jubilee Party.

They included Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, former Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye, Kajiado West MP George Sunkuiya, Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru and Kajiado Woman Rep Janet Teiyan.

Mr Washiali, who is also the National Assembly's Chief Whip, vowed to marshal MPs to defeat any Motion targeting the Deputy President.

Impeachment Motion

He accused Raila of working to destroy Jubilee, saying he was behind Siaya Senator James Orengo's attempt to introduce an impeachment Motion against the DP. 

"I have 217 MPs that will stand with you, Your Excellency," he said.

He further accused Raila of "suspicious" behaviour.

"After any greetings, people part ways. Instead, he (Raila) comes into your house rather than go to his. What kind of greetings are these?" he asked.

Washiali told Ruto to "toughen" his heart as there would be a lot of challenges ahead of 2022.

The MP also cast aspersions on the Director of Criminal Investigations' involvement in the war against corruption and said they would work in Parliament to strengthen the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

"Hii tutapitisha Bunge. As long as I am Chief Whip, nothing will touch you," said Washiali. 

Ms Waruguru dismissed anti-Ruto MPs under the "Kieleweke" banner, who recently gathered in Murang’a County, saying they had “lost network”.

She said all was not lost in Jubilee despite the divisions. “There is no Jubilee that belongs to Uhuru or Ruto. Jubilee is one party,” she said.

Mr Barasa said come next General Election, Kenyans would ask for a development track record and that Raila should also be ready to give his.

“In 2022, the work done for Kenyans will determine whether you get elected. Raila should also be asked to present what he has done for Kenyans during his stint as the African Union's High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa,” he said.

Mr Lenku said he would champion Ruto and Jubilee's cause in Kajiado. He tore into Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, accusing her of working to split the party. "You cannot claim to be in Jubilee yet you are working to tear it down," he said.

Ruto promised to deliver more development projects. He said work on dams would continue in order to fulfill Jubilee's pledge for water for all Kenyans in spite of "criminals who wanted the opposite".