Resign! Uhuru-Raila MPs tell William Ruto

MPs drawn from different political parties at a news conference at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday, March 11. They called for DP William Ruto’s resignation. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have accused the Deputy President William Ruto of misconduct and violation of his oath of office.

The lawmakers, totalling over 20, dared Ruto to resign and focus on his presidential ambitions, which they argue has clouded his role as the second in command.

“William Ruto must shape up or ship out,” they said in a joint statement over an alleged “reprehensible conduct” of the DP. The statement also talked of a fifth column which the dictionary describes as "an enemy from within".

They went on: “The DP is guilty of public misconduct and grave malpractices and has not lived up to the oath of office…he has failed to promote public confidence in the integrity of the high office”.

The statement was read by Baringo Women Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui on behalf of the legislators.

They accused Ruto of declaring a war against State institutions and constitutional bodies.

This was in reference the DP’s remarks at the weekend, claiming the murder of Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei, a security officer in his office, was a double ploy to set him up against his community while also scandalising his office.

Ruto said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) was part of the elaborate scheme to demean his office. He also accused unnamed government officials of boasting that he will not be around for long.

He specifically warned the DCI against being used in the war to “finish” him by the “system”.

The MPs now say Ruto’s claims were “insidiously eroding the prestige and honour of the President of Kenya and leader of his party,” and translated to “fighting the government from within”.

They said it was unacceptable and would ultimately render the government dysfunctional and divided.

“He needs time and undivided attention to pursue the only thing and ambition that makes sense and has meaning in his life – dream and campaign for the 2022 presidential elections,” the MPs said.

The lawmakers said William Ruto was openly opposing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and the ongoing war against corruption.

“The narrative of peace, justice and reconciliation is total anathema to the Deputy President. The brazen attacks on the government and public institutions have been extended to the social media and targeted varies groups in society. In these circumstances, the centre cannot hold unless appropriate action is taken against these egregious malfeasances against democracy, the rule of law, accountability and governance,” they said.

The statement escalates the political tension in the country ahead of the 2022 General Elections.

Already the ruling Jubilee Party is dived into two-warring factions. The Tangatanga wing of Jubilee is backing Ruto, while the Kieleweke, which is allied to Uhuru, has the backing of Raila’s camp.

It also comes in the wake of a threat by Senate Minority Leader James Orengo to impeach the deputy president.

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