I'm ready to face your coalition, DP Ruto now tells Uhuru and Raila

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) elbow-greets DP William Ruto during the 18th Annual National Prayer Breakfast at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday said he was ready for the planned coalition between Jubilee and ODM parties.

Speaking in Kapenguria, West Pokot County, Ruto, however, lamented the ‘killing’ of Jubilee.

“I have heard them talk about Jubilee and ODM coming together. Let them know we are not bothered. We have our own hustlers party that has no tribal or regional boundaries. We are okay where we are,” he said.

“These people have destroyed Jubilee, which was a national party. Now they want to tell us that everyone to establish a regional party, the UDA is for Kenya and cannot fit in a particular ethnic group.”

He pledged to have a national party that would unite all regions ahead of the 2022 elections.

“We are going to have a national party, in which all Kenyans will fit. And what about the fringe parties? They say they want to join ODM and Jubilee. What history of Kenya will be written?” said Ruto.

Changed tack

Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju has confirmed plans were in top gear to have the coalition ahead of next year’s presidential race.

“We are talking, there is much progress and we believe that this is the arrangement that will form the next government, there is a lot going on behind the scene,” said Tuju.

In a strategy that appears to have been inspired by the halting of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have changed tack.

The latest move seems to have come after the realisation that with 13 months to the General Election, there might be no time to hold a referendum.

President Kenyatta, at a State House meeting with Kamba leaders led by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, was frank that his interest is to ensure the National Super Alliance (Nasa) remains intact.

Yesterday, Ruto insisted that he was prepared to mount a campaign to take on Uhuru and his new allies.

But allies of Uhuru and Raila described it as the best strategy to form the next government was through a coalition.

National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, MPs Opiyo Wandayi, Godfrey Osotsi, Ngunjiri Wambugu let the ‘cat out of the bag’, saying the coalition talks mark the transformation of the March 9, 2018 ‘handshake into a political outfit.

The leaders said that they will also be reaching out to other political players in crafting a coalition that will face off with Ruto.