President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies have dismissed claims by his deputy William Ruto (pictured) of a scheme to rig him out in the 2022 General Election.
A number of them accused Dr Ruto of laying ground to reject the election outcome by telling his supporters that there was a plot by the ‘deep state’ to rig him out in the polls.
Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho yesterday termed the DP’s claims as outrageous since Ruto was second in command in the Jubilee administration.
Kibicho said he does not understand what deep state is and that according to him, it is a term that is used by people to loosely mean probably bad things.
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He said there is nothing like the Deep State in the current government.
“There is no deep state that we know about. The government is structured in a manner that everybody can see. Nowadays we have a lot of facilities to ensure that we interrogate anything that we think about,” Kibicho said yesterday in a talk show on Spice FM.
Speaking separately, Atwoli, another Ruto critic, challenged Ruto to resign for making the allegations.
He said the remarks were a direct confrontation against President Kenyatta, who is his boss.
“To dare his own government to rig him out is outrageous. The best thing to do after making those allegations is to resign. If he was saying so out of the government, he would be believed,” said Atwoli.
The vocal trade unionist accused Ruto of dishonesty in his claim that the system fought them (him and Uhuru) in their first stab at the presidency in 2013.
He said retired President Mwai Kibaki’s administration backed the duo in the 2013 poll and supported them in fighting the International Criminal Court (ICC).
He reiterated his claims that Ruto will never succeed Uhuru.
“I have said it before and I want to say it again that my ninth sense tells me he will not be the next president. We will vote; it might not be Raila, Kalonzo or Mudavadi, but obviously it will not be Ruto,” said Atwoli.
“In 2013, the deep state was not fighting them. Kibaki supported them in their case at the International Criminal Court. I visited a senior government official in Kibaki’s administration in his office then, who told me the government had decided to back Uhuru and Ruto in the election,” he claimed.
He also dismissed claims of a plot by senior politicians to gang up against Ruto so as to defeat him.
He said Ruto declared his candidature prematurely and ‘falsely’ believed he was the most popular candidate for the 2022 race.
“When you are doing shadow boxing, you might think you are popular. He has been competing against himself and thinks he is now the most popular candidate for 2022,” he added.
Kibicho and Atwoli spoke a day after Ruto said he was not afraid of the ‘system and the deep state’ in his quest to succeed Uhuru come 2022.
“We are threatened that there is a system. That there is a deep state. That even if you vote there will be people who will rig our vote. That there are people who will sit somewhere and decide. We are waiting for those people and that system and the deep state. They will come with that system and the deep state, but we will come with the people and God,” he said.
He recounted that similar tactics had been used during the 2013 campaign when he teamed up with Uhuru to seek the presidency.
Then, some forces had declared that the two were unsuitable for leadership because of their crimes against humanity cases, which were pending at The Hague-based court.
The cases were later dropped.
Deep state, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is “an alleged secret network of especially non-elected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defence industries) operating extralegally to influence and enact government policy”.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu and his nominated counterpart Godfrey Osotsi also dismissed the claims.
“DP Ruto is trying to build a siege mentality among his followers, so that when - not if - he doesn’t make it in 2022 - he will immediately say the ‘deep state/system’ has fixed him and ‘some people seated somewhere have stolen his ejection’ (he suggested as much), and that will be his reason to refuse the results of that election,” said Wambugu.
Osotsi said Ruto had been a beneficiary of the State and should not start crying foul.