I am not waiting on Uhuru endorsement- Ruto hits back

Deputy President William Ruto, MPs Aisha Jumwa (left), Paul Katana (right), Benjamin Tayari (far right) during a leaders meeting in Kilifi. [DPPS]

The gloves are off in the political battle of wits between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, who yesterday scoffed at his boss’s claim that he was in a hurry to clinch power.

The DP also dismissed claims made by President Kenyatta and his allies that he was disloyal, radicalising leaders and youth in the country to revolt against the government and the so-called dynasties.

In his second day tour of Coast, the DP cut an image of a person betrayed by Uhuru, who he said he fought for twice to win power. He declared he will not stop his march to State House.

He said he has come to terms with the reality that President Uhuru will not endorse him for the presidency in the 2022 polls and "I should be left alone to continue with the campaign".

Ruto alleged that some people were out to use the deep State to fight him and his allies but insisted he has God and Kenyans on his side.

“Some people want to cause violence in the country and blame it on the hustler movement and we should avoid falling into their trap. They are angry with us because were are smarter,” Ruto said in Mombasa.

At the same time, Ruto poured cold water on the plan by his Coast allies to form a regional party to mobilise voters for him, asking them instead to join the United Democratic Alliance.

Speaking during a leaders’ meeting in Kilifi town, Ruto said Kilifi North MP Owen Baya should take up the UDA as the secretary general position.

Baya and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who are the proponents of the Coast party, are said to have identified Kadu Asili for takeover, rebranding and mobilisation of voters for Ruto.

The meeting was attended by about 3,000 leaders, including 16 MPs from the Coast region and other parts of the country.

And Ruto challenged opposition parties to come up with their presidential flagbearers and lay out their agenda so as to face him in the contest for the highest office in the land instead of waiting in vain for President Kenyatta’s nod.

Speaking when he raised funds for boda boda operators at Kadongo grounds in Kisauni constituency, Mombasa yesterday, Ruto claimed the opposition leaders were waiting to draw the sympathy of Kenyans when they lose the next elections and “resort to a fake swearing-in of their presidential candidate like it happened in 2017.”

Constitutional amendment

The DP claimed the Nasa leaders were creating the constitutional amendment as an emergency just to ruin the government development agenda for the country.

“The constitutional amendment should not be treated as an emergency. Come what may, we will return Kenya to where it was before they came into government so as to create jobs,” Ruto said.

He was accompanied by MPs Aisha Jumwa, Owen Baya, Khatib Mwashetani, Shariff Ali, Benjamini Tayari, Paul Katana, Mohamed Ali,Oscar Sudi and Lamu senator Anwar Loitiptip among others.

Today, Ruto is expected to visit Kinango in Kwale County and Nyali and Jomvu in Mombasa county.