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MPs defend DP Ruto over new role for Matiang'i

By Standard Team | January 28th 2019
Deputy President William Ruto (centre), Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku (left) an Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje during a church service at PCEA Ngong yesterday. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

A section of legislators from Central Kenya and Rift Valley have dismissed claims that Deputy President William Ruto’s powers had been trimmed by the elevation of Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i following a recent Executive order.

Martha Wangari (Gilgil), Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North), Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West), Kuria Kimani (Molo), Charity Kathambi (Njoro) and George Kariuki (Ndia) made the remarks at a  graduation ceremony of over 500 youth in Gilgil town at the weekend.

Wangari said although President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga were now working together, it did not mean that Ruto had been sidelined.

Ruto, she said, was part of the Presidency and his powers had not been reduced and called on those claiming otherwise to shun negative politics.

“We know the handshake is a good thing and it has brought all leaders together and our Deputy President has not been sidelined as some leaders want us to believe,” she said.

Mariru said the first handshake in the country was by the President and his Deputy, noting that it could not be overruled by the new one with Odinga.

“Ruto is our deputy party leader and there is no way the Matiang'i’s role can be superior than the power to lead the country,” he said.

Kariuki said all Kenyans should embrace the handshake, adding that it should not be used by some leaders to ascend to power.

But those allied to Ruto have raised concerns in respect to the recent visit to Republic of Congo during the swearing-in of the new president Felix Tshisekedi.

Uhuru and Raila were among the Kenyan delegation that were present to witness the ceremony.

"Our concerns have been drawn to the ongoing political temperatures and more so to the sidelining of DP. He was not in the entourage to Congo while Raila was given a chance yet the event did not have anything to do with his Africa Union role,” said Daniel Rono Keiyo South MP.

Turkana South MP James Lomenen challenged Uhuru and Ruto to speak up on their differences instead of assuming that all is well.

But Ruto yesterday sought to downplay the latest political development, saying there is no need for Kenyans to be anxious.

“We are done with the issues of  the past election, we will still have another election next time but until then, we have a lot of work to do to ensure Kenya makes a step in terms of development,” he said.

Not wise

The DP, who was speaking during a church service in Ngong, Kajiado County, said it is not wise to drag the country into 2022 succession politics yet it is not an issue of much importance at the moment.

The DP said as a Government, they are focused on the Big Four agenda.

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