In the face of mounting pressure against him and his allies, Deputy President William Ruto has declared he would defeat the ‘deep state’ out to ensure his political downfall.
Ruto said yesterday he would not bow to machinations by the ‘system’ that he claimed was determined to ensure he doesn’t succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
The deputy president, who faces a combined onslaught by a faction in the ruling Jubilee Party allied to the president and the Opposition led by Raila Odinga, said together with Uhuru, they had triumphed over similar challenges in the run-up to 2013 polls when they had been indicted by the International Criminal Court.
“I was being threatened. If I was a coward, we would not have formed this government. If Uhuru Kenyatta was a coward, we would not have formed a government because of the threats,” Ruto said.
The deputy president recalled the “choices have consequences” warning in 2013, referring to the caution by then US official Johnnie Carson, which was picked up by their opponents and used to campaign against their bid.
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“We were told that choices have consequences, that we were unsuitable because we had cases at The Hague and yet the charges were fabrications. We are waiting for that deep state, they will come with their ‘system’ and we will come with the people and God,” a defiant Ruto said.
The DP said the political setbacks he faces now are nothing compared to what Uhuru and himself overcame when they teamed up in 2013.
“It is the same thing we are being told right now. We are being warned that there is a system, a deep state and people who will steal our votes. That even if you vote, there are people who will decide who wins,” Ruto said.
The DP spoke at his Karen residence yesterday where he hosted leaders from Kajiado County led by Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito and Nominated Senator Mary Seneta.
Ruto asked Kenyans to stay firm against political intimidation and threats from the so-called “deep state and the system”.
Without naming them, the DP was alluding to powerful members of the public service, and business people who are power brokers and exercise political influence from the shadows.
Ruto has long accused the ‘deep state’ of trying to take him down.
In March during the burial of Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei, a guard at his office who was murdered in the wake of investigations into a Sh40 billion fake arms deal, Ruto claimed the officer had been killed by people who were fighting him (the DP) politically.
“I am aware and it is obvious that there is a huge scheme that has been orchestrated to demean and to destroy my office and to ensure that I do not get anywhere,” Ruto said then. The DP claimed those who were after him were backed by the ‘system’.
“They may have the ‘system’ but I want to tell them we have God. They might have to kill me because I am not going back. Kenya belongs to everyone. Threats and schemes will not work. I know that this is not all they have, they still have plans against me but I am ready for it,” Ruto said then.
Yesterday’s remarks come at a time Ruto is under siege within the Jubilee Party and is increasingly being seen as an outsider in a government he helped form. His key allies in the National Assembly and the Senate have been purged from House leadership posts by the president who is working with Raila. Uhuru and Raila struck a truce when they shook hands on March 9, 2018. Their unity pact created the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Ruto and his supporters have accused Raila of exploiting his handshake with the president to wreck the ruling party and scheme how to take over power when Uhuru’s term ends in 2022.
The purge in Parliament targeted Ruto allies in committees that will be critical in processing constitutional reforms Bills under BBI.
Ruto's camp is accused of undermining the BBI, hence the motivation to remove them from the crucial House committees.
Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe and Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, who are opposed to a Ruto presidency, have since endorsed Raila as Uhuru’s successor.
Raila’s brother Oburu Odinga says the ODM leader hopes to benefit from the system’s assistance due to his closeness with the president. He claims Raila had twice won the presidency, but his victory was stolen because he was not favoured by the system.
Yesterday, Ruto urged leaders and Kenyans to stay firm and believe in God to defeat such machinations. At the same time, he urged senators to develop a revenue sharing formula that will ensure a “win-win“ situation to all counties.