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Raphael Tuju alleges Ruto was paid to support Uhuru Kenyatta

Azimio la Umoja secretariat Executive Director Raphael Tuju. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja secretariat Executive Director Raphael Tuju has claimed Deputy President William Ruto was hired and cannot be trusted with the presidency.

Speaking at a vernacular radio station yesterday, Tuju alleged Ruto was paid to support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2013 General Election. 

In the interview with Inooro FM Ruto claimed the Deputy President agreed to support the President’s candidature on conditions several among them monetary offers and a caveat to be given a 50 per cent share of government.

 “What he was eventually paid may be beyond my knowledge but Mt Kenya people should not think that Ruto supported the President unconditionally, I can confirm before a court of law that he was paid,” Tuju claimed.

He said having worked with Ruto, the President knows his deputy cannot deliver for the country.

In a separate interview with The Standard yesterday, the former Jubilee Party secretary general, who was until early this year a Cabinet Secretary without portfolio, said Ruto had considered backing ODM leader Raila Odinga before settling on Uhuru.

Uhuru Kenyatta, second right, and William Ruto exchange pleasantries after signing an MoU ahead of the 2013 polls. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

“Someone who was paid to back Uhuru can’t be entrusted with Treasury and Central Bank,” claimed Tuju who depicted Ruto as a leader who takes politics as business.

When sought for comment, Ruto’s director of communications Emmanuel Talam dismissed the claims.

‘’Tuju thinks that everyone is paid like they pay him to malign the DP. Now he’s seeking final payment before Jubilee formally becomes extinct in ten days,” he said.

Tuju who has been on an all-out charm offensive to campaign for Raila in Mt Kenya region’s vernacular stations had told Weru TV in Mt Kenya East that Ruto’s actions forced Uhuru to skip the 2017 Presidential debate.

According to Tuju, upon the reelection of Uhuru in 2017, Ruto held Uhuru captive and could only marshal MPs allied to him to pass bills.

“He blackmailed the President in parliament through the Majority Leader and the chairperson of Budget who were his allies, they decided what to be passed by parliament and what was not to be passed,” he added. “The weapon of blackmail came to an end after the handshake between the President and Raila since the MPs from the opposition helped Uhuru’s wing marshal enough numbers to pass government business.”

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga with secretariat Executive Director Raphael Tuju in Kiambu in May 2022. [David Njaaga, Standard]

At the same time, Tuju painted Raila as a patriot whose only mission was legacy saying he equated him with former President Mwai Kibaki .

Tuju also took issue with the DP’s criticism of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti.

“Kinoti is capable of his work and people know that, since he took over, we have had no cases of terrorist attacks in the country for two to three years,” claimed Tuju in the TV interview.

On Sunday, Ruto took issue with Kinoti over the arrest of three Venezuelans who had been arrested at JKIA in possession of election stickers.

But IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati clarified that the three were officials of a firm contracted by the electoral body.

On Azimo One Kenya Alliance’ faith with the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Tuju said some of the commissioners ‘had issues’ but they were keen on building the institutions other than tearing them apart.