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‘They are pushing DP William Ruto to irrelevance’

By Mwangi Muiruri | May 14th 2020

Senators Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) at a past function. [File, Standard]

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen now claims the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto has been on the rocks since 2017.

Murkomen, who was kicked out as Majority Leader in the Senate on Monday, said Ruto is not being assigned any duties, to make him irrelevant.

The senator, who spoke in a show in a local radio station yesterday, said the handshake between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga further complicated the chemistry between the President and his deputy.

He accused unnamed loyalists of the President of working overtime to humiliate Dr Ruto by projecting him as an outsider in government.

“No official duties have been delegated to the DP, including chairing of cabinet sub-committees, as has been has been the tradition where occupiers of the office are active in the day-to-day running of government,” said Murkomen.

He added: “There have been deliberate efforts from the President’s loyalists to box the DP into irrelevance.”

Under the Executive Order Number 1 of 2019, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i was mandated to supervise government programmes and projects, a role some felt should have been given to Ruto.

Currently, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe is driving the war on Covid-19. The CS is chairing the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, a post some still feel, should be the DP’s.

Murkomen turned his guns on the President’s ‘lieutenants’ saying Uhuru may not directly be involved in ‘machinations to edge out Ruto’.

He however noted the President’s “silence and failure to convene forums to help heal rifts between him and his deputy has aggravated the issue.”

Murkomen said there had been hope the differences would be resolved. “However, as things stand now, there will be no reprieve in the near future as long as the DP continues to be disregarded as a key member of the government”.

He said DP has been turned into a subject of ridicule and is defied even by junior government officers.

Murkomen said the Uhuru-Raila deal worsened matters for the DP. He claimed the humiliation the DP suffered went a notch higher.

“We have been contending with a situation whereby the DP is humiliated left, right and centre. And there has been very little concealment that the agenda has all along been to cut off the DP,” he said.

Earlier, on the same show, Kieni MP Kanini Kega had challenged Ruto’s loyalists to quit Jubilee, “if they cannot respect the President”.

“The President has made it clear this is the time to serve Kenyans and not engage in premature election campaigns. However, DP’s men have refused to heed this call and are subbotaging his development agenda,” he said.

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