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Respect Gachagua, Ruto tells leaders during Akorino event

Politics
 President William Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and other leaders at the Akurino Annual Prayer Conference at Nakuru Boys, High School, Nakuru County on June 09, 2024. [PCS]

Political and religious leaders have called for unity between President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

The perceived rift between the two leaders was evident Sunday  when Gachagua arrived one hour after the president at the National Prayer Conference for the Akorino at Nakuru Boys High School.

The President arrived at 10.41 am while Gachagua walked in at 11.45 am after the event had started.

He sat on a seat not designated for him as leaders who sensed a rift between the two leaders called for unity.

President Ruto sought to allay fears of a rift in Kenya Kwanza saying he chose Gachagua to be his deputy despite other advisories.

"I chose Gachagua because he is my age mate and I felt that we can plan things together to ensure Kenya is on the right track,” he said.

The Head of State said they know why they came together and their main agenda is to unite Kenyans and walk together.

He told leaders who have been throwing jibes at Gachagua to be respectful, saying they were young and needed mentorship to be better leaders in future.

Ruto reminded leaders of the challenges the Kenya Kwanza leadership faced during campaigns and after the 2022 General Election.

“We are not here because of power or luck; we are here because of God. Let us not forget how we got here and let us walk together. I promise young leaders that we will mentor you to become better than us,” he said.

The President urged the leaders to stop using abusive language and spreading hate, reminding Kenyans how together with former President Uhuru Kenyatta, they united warring tribes.

He however, threw jibes at Gachagua for arriving late at the event but he (DP) promised to arrive early at the next Akorino celebrations in Kiambu.

“Kiambu is near Nairobi. I will arrive early. ‘Mapema ndio best." Gachagua said.

The DP apologized for arriving late at the function saying that despite always keeping time, transport challenges and poor weather delayed him.

Gachagua said he was stranded in Naivasha for more than two hours. “Despite the lateness, I am a happy man and I will sleep delighted today because the program has been a success,” he said.

He reminded Ruto how he has been a loyal servant and a peacemaker citing intervention in governors, MPs, and MCAs disputes in Kericho, Kiambu, Meru, and Nakuru counties.

“I have done a lot for this country and I will continue to do so because you (Ruto) have not told me otherwise. Let people stop creating fake narratives,” said Gachagua.

The DP insisted that like Kenya Kwanza’s bottom-up agenda, unity should also be bottom up; from family to outsiders.

“I am a good man and I am on record settling disputes and creating peace because I know that disunity will affect the country. I call on all religions to be united and preach unity,” he said.

He called on leaders fighting him to remember that they had a job to do and owe it to the people of Kenya.

After the speech, Gachagua led the Akorino in a praise verse preaching peace, insisting that he was happy.

Despite the President and his deputy striking a reconciliatory tone, leaders present called on Ruto to be the role model in spreading unity.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said the Kenya Kwanza government is united to eliminate tribalism. Kuria said Kenyans suffered because of tribal clashes.

“We do not want tribalism to return. We need to be united and truthful to each other and to Kenyans,” he said.

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika pleaded with Ruto and Gachagua to lead by example in maintaining peace and unity.

“You are our fathers and mothers and we look up to you. You must come together as a house because we do not want to see the directions that things are going,” she said.

Kihika said it was hardly two years and a rift has emerged in Kenya Kwanza and some leaders are further fueling it.

She warned that if Ruto and Gachagua do not unite, they will not focus on delivering for Kenyans and leaders under them will also not deliver.

Murang’a Governor Irungu Kangata called for one man one shilling one vote and urged the executive to embrace all ideas including that of the opposition to create a good society.

Nyandarua Senator John Methu said the congregation was taken aback when the function started before Gachagua arrived.

“When prayers started, we were shaking but it is good that he has arrived. We feel that the executive is working together,” he said.

MPs who spoke, Including Irene Njoki (Bahati), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West), David Gikaria (Nakuru East), Paul Chebor (Rongai), Charity Kathambi (Njoro) Eric Muchangi (Runyenjes), and John Kiarie (Dagoretti), called for unity and understanding.

A girl who recited a poem reminded Ruto about those who stood by him when he was campaigning to be President, including Gachagua among other leaders.

“Akufaaye kwa dhiki ndiye rafiki (Those who stand by you in poverty are the true friends),” recited the girl. 

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