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I will not join ‘Yes’ camp, asserts Ruto

By | April 27th 2010

By James Ratemo

Higher Education Minister William Ruto took up his new role, promising he will not be intimidated into changing his stand against the Proposed Constitution.

In a thinly-veiled response to his ‘demotion’ from the plum Agriculture portfolio, Mr Ruto said he would never join the ‘Yes’ camp.

"I could not find myself in a better place than here," said Ruto as he addressed 200 secondary school graduates who are beneficiaries of a Sh140 million Equity Bank scholarship.

"The country is looking up to you to produce the next generation of leaders. For a very long, time Kenya’s leadership has been full of finger-pointing leaders, always looking for scapegoats and generally ‘Yes’ people. Kenya needs leaders who have courage to sometimes say ‘No’, leaders brave enough to look for the alternative view," Ruto said.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri said: "My friend and colleague Ruto addressed secondary school student leaders a few weeks ago at Bomas... little did he know he was to be moved to Higher Education. Brother, take courage, that was a premonition of better things to come."

Quit ODM

Meanwhile, six MPs have asked Ruto to respect Prime Minister Raila Odinga or quit the party.

Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo and Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga, Edwin Yinda (Alego/Usonga), Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu Town East) and Pollyns Ochieng (Nyakach) criticised Ruto for declaring Raila his enemy number one. Ruto made the statements days after he was moved from Agriculture to Higher Education ministry in a mini reshuffle.

"Ruto should have been sacked instead of being moved to a less powerful ministry," said Mr Midiwo.

Speaking separately, the leaders said the Prime Minister was too lenient on Ruto who the said had declared war on the party leadership.

"ODM allows democracy to prevail but we should not allow some leaders to take advantage to show disrespect and undermine party’s leaders," said Mr Anyanga.

—Additional reporting by George Olwenya and Peter Atsiaya

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