Only Raila can beat Ruto in 2022 election, says Murathe

Murathe claimed other politicians who had shown interest to run for the top seat had no political muscle to battle Ruto. [Standard]

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is the only politician who can beat Deputy President William Ruto in the 2022 presidential contest, former Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe has said.

Murathe, regarded a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, reiterated his determination to block Dr Ruto’s bid for State House, saying if he (Ruto) wins “we will all be finished.”

“If there is somebody who can stop that guy (Ruto) from becoming President, it is the former Prime Minister. There is nobody else,” said Murathe, adding: “Our main aim is to make sure that person (Ruto) does not become President because if he does we are all finished”.

Murathe made the remarks on Saturday night during the birthday party of Tony Gachoka, where Raila was the chief guest. 

Bribed to vote

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Speaking at the event, Raila said Kenyans would not be bribed to vote in a certain way.

He described his political opponents as people who had no agenda for the country, but who thought they could use money to buy political backing.

The ODM leader said it was premature for politicians to start engaging in campaigns for the next General Election, adding that voters would make their stand known at the right time.

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“We will not be intimidated by money. We will not be intimidated by people who have no agenda for this country, people who don’t know where the country is coming from and where we want to go. The Kenyan spirit is much bigger than the penny you want to give them,” said Raila.

The African Union Special Envoy made an indirect reference to Ruto’s numerous fundraisers.

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“Kenyans will not be bribed when the time comes for them to decide what is right for them,” he said.

It was not the first time Raila was hitting out at Ruto over his weekend donations to churches and other groups.

He has in the past challenged the DP to declare the source of the millions of shillings he has been donating countrywide. The ODM leader made the remarks in response to Murathe’s request that he (Raila) should run in 2022 to scuttle Ruto’s bid to ascend to the top seat.

Murathe claimed other politicians who had shown interest to run for the top seat had no political muscle to battle Ruto at the ballot and called on Kenyans to support Raila come 2022.

The ODM leader has not announced whether he would give the top seat another stab. But Murathe said the country would be disappointed if Raila did not run for president.

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Murathe and Siaya Senator James Orengo have in the past hinted that Raila and Uhuru were working on a political formation that could see the ODM leader face off with Ruto in the next General Election.

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula of Ford-Kenya and Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Alfred Mutua have declared interest in the seat.

Political development

Murathe described the March 9, 2018 handshake between Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta as a momentous political development that would define the country’s politics for the next 50 years.

He took a swipe at Ruto and his allies on their criticism against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying they should wait for the report to be made public.

“I hear some people are opposing the BBI. How do you oppose something that you don’t know? Let them wait for the report,” he said.

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The former Gatanga MP is a fierce critic of Ruto, having resigned from the ruling party to champion the stop-Ruto movement.

Raila recently warned Ruto and his allies that they risked being swept by a political storm should they oppose constitutional reforms proposed by BBI.

Raila disclosed that the BBI team, which is currently writing its report, would make it public this month for Kenyans to give further views before the country can go for a referendum.

He also spoke about his political truce with Uhuru, reiterating it was meant to unite the country after the acrimonious 2017 elections.

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Deputy President William Ruto2022President Uhuru KenyattaGeneral ElectionBuilding Bridges InitiativeBBI