Deputy President William Ruto has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to keep off his bid for the presidency.
Speaking in Imenti, Meru County yesterday on his second-day tour of the Mt Kenya East region, Dr Ruto hit out at the President, who on Saturday accused him of failing to discharge his duties and offering empty promises to Kenyans ahead of the General Election.
He dismissed the President’s remarks, and accused him of not being happy with the Kenya Kwanza manifesto that was aimed at lowering the cost of living.
Dr Ruto maintained that he was “removed” from government, after which the Jubilee development agenda was derailed.
“The price of flour has gone up. When these handshake friends removed us from government, the price was Sh90. And now Raila (Odinga) tells us we should give him an opportunity to lead. He should go home. “We launched our manifesto on Thursday, meant to reduce the cost of living, provide employment to youth and empower farmers. You have heard today how my friend the President is angry with that manifesto,” he said.
Dr Ruto said he was in no competition with the Head of State, because the latter’s term was coming to an end. “I want to tell my friend Uhuru Kenyatta not to be angry with us because we are not competing with you. You should step aside and let us deal with Raila. The president should stop bothering himself. I have not asked him for his vote. I do not want his help; I just want him to step aside and leave me to deal with Raila,” he said.
The DP exuded confidence that he would easily beat the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate in the August 9 polls.
“That is why I am asking my friend Uhuru Kenyatta not to be angry with us. We voted for you when you needed us. We stood with you when you needed it. We are not saying you support us; but do not be angry with us. Let us deal with Raila because we want to send him home,” Dr Ruto said in Gatimbi.
At Miraa trading centre, Dr Ruto assured the President of protection in retirement.
He said his administration would fight corruption. “We are going to deal with state capture, conflict of interest and corruption because we want fairness and not a few people to enrich themselves. We want a country that belongs to 40 million people and a country where nobody is left behind,” he said.
Addressing locals after a service at Athi Catholic Church in Igembe, Dr Ruto accused his opponents of trivialising his manifesto.
“Our opponents say it is too deep; which is true, because we want to implement it. They have also said it is not achievable. I want to tell them to give us a chance. Nearly 90,000 Kenyans were involved in formulating it. It is detailed because thousands of citizens have been involved in the formulation. We also want to assure Kenyans we have what it takes to implement this plan,” he said.
The DP appealed to residents to vote for UDA’s Senator Mithika Linturi as Meru governor, Kathuri Murungi as senator and Moses Kirima as Central Imenti MP.
“We want Prof Linturi to be the third governor of Meru. I know what he can do. We want those we will partner with to implement our agenda for Kenya. We also want Kathuri Murungi as Senator. He is assisting Linturi in Imenti,” he said.
He promised that his government would account for resources for the benefit of all.
“We want to make sure Kenyan resources are used in the desired way to benefit Kenyans. We want to have an open, transparent and accountable government,” he said.
Dr Ruto said Kenya Kwanza leaders had a track record of development since 2013, and told off detractors questioning why he did not implement what is in his manifesto in Jubilee government.
“They should check our track record. When I was advising President Uhuru Kenyatta, we built a 700km railway, 10,000km roads, connected 8.8 million people to electricity, built 160 TTIs and equipped 94 hospitals. But when I left Raila to advise the President, our Big Four agenda stalled,” he said.
“Just like we did railway, roads and electricity projects, from August 10, that work will begin and Kenya will change. Our track record is clear, so do not ask us why we have not achieved what is in our manifesto. You know why. Had we had continuity, Kenya would not be where it is today,” the DP added, citing the high cost of fertiliser and maize flour.
The UDA presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua also urged residents to vote for Prof Linturi and dismissed Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s Devolution Empowerment Party (BUS), Jubilee and ODM.
“Jubilee and Bus are Azimio. We are saying if you want to kill a snake you must also crash its eggs. ODM is the snake and Jubilee and BUS are the eggs. We are killing the snake and its eggs,” said Mr Rigathi.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa assured the DP of Kiambu County’s support.
Out of government
“Do not be worried by those who drove you out of government and are now blaming you,” he said, adding that they would not be distracted by the insults directed at the DP.
Dr Ruto and Prof Kindiki also campaigned for UDA candidates.
“Please vote for Linturi as governor and reelect John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South MP).
When you vote for Linturi, please also vote for Kathuri Murungi as Senator and Elizabeth Kailemia as Woman Rep,” said Prof Kindiki.