Ruto fights back 'Kitaeleweka' team

Deputy President William Ruto with Rev Julius Mwambia during Sunday service at the PCEA church in Nairobi West, Nairobi County. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has criticised his opponents whom he claims have formed a movement aimed at stopping him from ascending to the Presidency.

Dr Ruto said some political grouping traversing the country — camouflaged as uniting Kenyans — has morphed into ‘Operation Stop Ruto’.

The DP's sentiments come at a time of rising concerns on his commitment to the war on corruption, with critics saying his stand on the matter is hurtful to President Uhuru Kenyatta's agenda.

Speaking at AIPCA church in Riruta Satellite, Nairobi, the DP told the group, calling itself the ‘Kitaeleweka’ team, not to rush since elections are still far, and to allow the Jubilee administration deliver on its promises.

“There is a group loitering around the country called “Operation Stop Ruto” and preaching the anti-Ruto gospel. I am telling them to relax since 2022 is far,” he said.

He particularly hit out at a group of Jubilee MPs who are identifying themselves as the champions of the war against graft, saying "you cannot be in Jubilee and make claims of corruption."

“How can you be a member of Jubilee and accuse the Government of corruption? Who is the leader of Jubilee other than the President and I? It would be understandable if you were in Opposition and making such claims. They have now joined the Opposition which used to accuse us of stealing Eurobond and monies from Afya House,” the DP said.

As he spoke in Nairobi, the DP's allies camped in Gatanga where they trained their guns on ODM leader Raila Odinga, accusing him of trying to dismantle Jubilee Party.

But at the same time, a rival group of Jubilee MPs led by Nyeri Town legislator Ngunjiri Wambugu extended their onslaught on the DP in Nyeri.

Wambugu and nominated MP Maina Kamanda led a group of about 15 MPs in condemning Ruto at St Peter's ACK Church and a rally in downtown Nyeri.

At Mukurwe AIPCA Church in Gatanga, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Senator Kithure Kindiki maintained that there was no rift in Jubilee, saying the relationship between Uhuru and his deputy was intact.

Inseparable friends

The team described the two as inseparable friends committed to serving the country.

Murkomen said the relationship between the two was intact and had not been affected since 2013 when they teamed up for a road map to State House.

They told off some Jubilee leaders who insist there is division in the party -with camps divided between Uhuru and Ruto.

“Don’t be cheated. The relationship between the two leaders is intact ignore the sideshows created by self-seekers,” said Murkomen.

Kindiki maintained the two were working together.

The Tharaka Nithi senator said the two were falsely accused at the International Criminal Court (ICC), adding that the same has been perpetuated by the Opposition to portray Ruto as an unacceptable and a corrupt leader to bar him from contesting in 2022.

“The Opposition is on a character assassination against Ruto, and leaders supporting him will deal with them politically as it happened in 2013,” said Kindiki.

They were accompanied by MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga) and Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town).

But in Nyeri, Kamanda said Ruto had not appeased the ghosts of post-election violence since there were a number of victims who lost their land and had not reclaimed it.

"I am not relenting and if you are now calling me an old man then you already feel the pressure. I will put ten times more pressure on you," said Kamanda.

The tongue lashing was extended to Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi.

The Standard
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