Elections 2017

DP Ruto attacks Tuju over Raila ties

Deputy President William Ruto addressing residents of Kiamaiko in Nairobi yesterday. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has attacked Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju accusing him of betraying the ruling coalition by working with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The fresh storm in the troubled Jubilee was yesterday stirred by reports that Tuju — a hitherto fierce critic of Raila — had become one of the closest allies and political strategists of the former premier.

In a tweet, Ruto wondered how Jubilee party’s Secretary General would work for the opposition.

“So our democracy is so liberal that the secretary general of the ruling party has become the chief strategist of the opposition!! Maajabu,” said Ruto.

The jibe by Ruto on the Cabinet Secretary without a portfolio was, however, not unexpected as DP’s allies have always trained their guns on the former Rarieda MP.

Ruto’s camp has accused Tuju of working with individuals opposed to his bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Yesterday, Tuju refused to be drawn into a public exchange with Ruto.

He, however, stated he is committed to Uhuru’s resolve to unite the country through the March 9 handshake.

He said the party is also behind Uhuru in the fight against corruption.

“It is my position that I cannot engage the DP through the media since he is my boss just as it is also my position that I support the President’s efforts to unite the country through bold steps such as the Building Bridges Initiative, the handshake and the fight against corruption,” said Tuju.

He said it was in the interest of the President to have a less politically polarised country, which informed his decision to work with Raila.

Ruto’s remarks drew a heated discussion online with some of his critics also hitting back.

Some of the Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) told Ruto it was also unprecedented that he was always “contradicting and defying” his boss, the President.

Some told Ruto the same way ODM MP Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) is backing his presidential bid, he should also stop taking offence with Tuju.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said Jubilee died with the handshake.

“Dear my good friend Deputy President William Ruto. Jubilee went into political bankruptcy on March 9, 2018. The nature and configuration of Kenya’s politics forced us into bankruptcy. Raphael Tuju is only a receiver-manager. Don’t attack the messenger please,” he said.

In the run up to 2017 elections, Tuju was regarded Raila’s fiercest critic and was the face of defiance to Raila’s in his political base of Nyanza.

Since the handshake, Tuju has been seen to be warming up to Raila, at times accompanying him in his tours of Nyanza.

At the weekend, Tuju met Siaya Senator James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo where he told off those politicians opposed to a referendum.