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Ruto in his Nandi backyard: Uhuru, don't threaten me

Deputy President William Ruto [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto on Friday lashed out at President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying he (Ruto) was okay with not receiving the president’s support in the upcoming polls.

Ruto, in his Kapsabet backyard, Nandi County, said he’d had enough of Kenyatta’s “threats”, and was now asking him to stop intimidating him.

The deputy president, however, did not reveal the nature of threats that he allegedly received from Kenyatta.

“Mr President, stop talking endlessly about me. Leave me alone if you don’t want to support my presidential bid,” Ruto said while campaigning in Nandi County on Friday, July 29.

The deputy president also accused President Kenyatta of being an ingrate for abandoning him (Ruto) in his hour of need, yet he (Ruto) was there for Kenyatta in the last two general elections.

“When you needed me, I was there for you. You know it, don’t pretend that you don’t,” added Ruto.

In a no-holds-barred tone, the DP said “as long you (President Kenyatta) don’t target any of my family members, I’m not fazed”.

“Mr President, let’s respect each other, nonetheless,” said the DP.

Ruto, exuding confidence that he will win the August 9 presidential contest, said he won’t revenge against Kenyatta.

“I will ensure you (Kenyatta) get peace during retirement as I govern the country the best way possible. I know what I’m doing,” he said.

The DP’s rant comes two days after President Kenyatta accused him of being a perennial liar.

On Wednesday, July 27 the Head of State said Ruto was politicising the standard gauge railway (SGR) administrative decisions to gain political mileage.

Ruto is on the record saying President Kenyatta’s administration replaced the initial plan of building an industrial city in Naivasha with an inland container depot, a move that, he claims, has demasculated the Port of Mombasa and led to loss of jobs.

“I can’t stand a liar,” the president said in Nakuru, while referring to his deputy.

“Kenya needs a leader who is development-oriented; one who can leverage on the existing projects to improve the lives of the people,” added Kenyatta.

“One cannot claim to be a great leader, yet he comes here and says: ‘as a government we love you, the people of Nakuru, and that’s why we launched the inland container depot’, yet when he goes to Mombasa, he tells the residents of that county: ‘those people (the Executive led by Uhuru Kenyatta) have transferred port operations from Mombasa to Naivasha. If you elect me, I’ll restore the operations in Mombasa’,” said Kenyatta.

“I don’t like liars. Let’s be honest people.”

Kenyatta also accused Ruto of telling lies that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was started to lock him (Ruto) out of presidency.