Bahati MP Kimani Ngungiri has said he is not afraid of being arrested or going to jail if his only crime is backing Deputy President William Ruto's 2022 presidential bid.
Addressing the media in Nakuru yesterday, Mr Ngunjiri said he will not tone down in the push for the DP to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying that “those favoured" by the Uhuru are already campaigning but are not castigated.
“We are ready to pay the price in standing with the DP. They can arrest us but they won’t stop his bid. The BBI meeting in Kisii was Raila Odinga’s campaign using state resources the same way he turned the 2005 referendum into a political party,” said Ngunjiri.
The MP said that their speaking out has brought more benefits to Kenyans than the silence from members of the Kieleweke faction of Jubilee Party and the opposition.
"We spoke out on challenges facing coffee, tea and dairy sectors and were termed as defiant. We challenged the National Health Insurance Fund rules and were told off. In the end, the president did as we demanded. We are now the official opposition but within the ruling party," he said.
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The Bahati lawmaker expressed fears that the opposition had been permitted to 'hijack' the Jubilee Party and running of the government.
“We stood with the President in 2013 and 2017. Since his truce with Raila Odinga, his synergy with the deputy and his allies faded,” said Ngunjiri.
While referring to reports of Ruto’s being kicked out of his official residence in Mombasa, Ngunjiri warned that those causing him embarrassment will be haunted by their actions.
“It is shocking that the president is watching in silence as his deputy is being embarrassed. The presidential appointees cannibalising Ruto should know that tables turn. They are not elected leaders and won’t last long in those offices,” he said.
He also referred to Tuesday's incident where Senator Susan Kihika and Nakuru East MP David Gikaria, who are the DP’s allies, were denied access to a function where the president was issuing title deeds to residents.
“I intentionally skipped the function. I had warned Kihika and Gikaria that they wouldn’t get access to the venue. Those who advised on the location misled him. It was held at a parking lot while most of the residents including leaders were left out,” said Ngunjiri.
The MP said that he would mobilise his counterparts to oppose the three per cent sales tax slapped on small scale traders, saying this comes from wrong advice that saw the ruling regime over-borrow from other countries.
He took issue with the hosting of a delegation of Nakuru leaders by the president at his family’s home in Gicheha farm, West of Nakuru Town.
After issuing title deeds to over 2,000 residents in Nakuru the president is said to have hosted a section of incumbent and former politicians, business icons, elders and opinion shapers in a meeting which lasted till late in the evening.
Ngunjiri said the meeting was similar to that hosted at Ruto’s Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu that drew a lot of criticism from the Kieleweke faction.
“The difference between the two meetings is the locations and participants. I wonder why it is seen as evil when DP allies converge with a similar agenda. All factions should get their space,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kihika has blamed the embarrassing incident on local politics within the county leadership.
"It is not a big deal but a job hazard. It has more to do with local politics. Some people felt a bit threatened with our presence. It is playing out ahead of the coming General Election," said Ms Kihika .
She said they are, however, glad that the issues they have been agitating for were addressed by Uhuru in his Tuesday speech.
The senator said that as members of Tangatanga, they will continue to agitate for more issues that affect Kenyans directly.