State House demands brief on DP Ruto, Kibicho JKIA drama

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho (second right) and Narok Governor Samuel Tunai (second left) lead the National Celebrations Committee in inspecting the Narok Stadium where Madaraka Day celebrations will be held. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]
State House has demanded a brief on the Wednesday night drama in which Deputy President William Ruto and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho were allegedly involved in an altercation.

A source at State House says President Uhuru Kenyatta demanded explanation on the incident which is said to have happened shortly before his flight touched down from the trip in Kigali, Rwanda.

Ruto and Kibicho who have not been in good terms lately, had gone to receive the Head of State. The PS has maintained a tight grip on the county administration, directing commissioners to clear with him on their engagements to the chagrin of the DP.

A few weeks ago, the Provincial Administration missed Ruto’s event in Nyeri on orders of Kibicho. It is said this was at the heart of their exchanges on Wednesday night.

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“The President wants to know what exactly transpired,” said the source.

A senior government official who witnessed the JKIA incident told the Saturday Standard that the altercation between the DP and Kibicho almost degenerated into a fist fight before those around them intervened to cool tempers.

However, yesterday the two dismissed the drama as rumours peddled by the media.

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In a statement by his director of communications Emmanuel Tallam, Ruto said the purported incident was fake news. “That JKIA story is fake. It is a creation of rumour-peddlers of fake news keen to sustain a hopeless narrative,” said Mr Tallam.

Need for order

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Kibicho also termed the reports as cheap propaganda that did not have head or tail which needed to be treated with the contempt it deserved.

“How can I have an exchange with the Deputy President? That is a cheap allegation that does not hold any sense,” said the PS of the claims first reported by People Daily.

But according to witnesses, it took the intervention of Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe to calm the situation threatening to turn ugly.

It is not clear if the President mentioned the matter when he met the DP yesterday for a private talk after they hosted EU envoys at State House.

Witnesses said the DP confronted the PS asking him why he had ordered regional commissioners, county commissioners and other national government officials not to attend his meetings. The PS responded saying there was need for order in government. Ruto in turn reminded the PS that he is the DP.

Other government officials present are said to have watched from a distance as the exchange continued before Gen Mwathethe intervened. And when the President arrived, they both welcomed him and pretended all was well.

Two weeks ago, Kibicho ordered that all national Government operations be coordinated from his office at Harambee House.

Kibicho said Mr William Thuku and Mr Moffat Kangi, who are based in his office, will coordinate the operations.

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State HouseWilliam RutoKaranja KibichoJKIA