A man can keep his feelings secret but only for some time. Now it seems like Deputy President William Ruto has decided to cough out some of the stuff building up in the chest.
On Sunday he told a vernacular TV that God would remove Jubilee Secretary-General RaphaelTuju and Vice Chairman David Murathe from the party's leadership if people don’t do so.
He said: “Ikishindikana sana tutaomba mungu awaondoe [If we are defeated, we’ll pray so that God removes them]…because they are the biggest threats to us having politics based on ideology, on policy on program rather than having politics that is retrogressive.”
He proceeded: “If there is one thing that Uhuru Kenyatta and I should leave behind is a united strong national party in the name of Jubilee.”
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Ruto rubbished claims that he was sidelined in the running of government even after his allies had raised an alarm.
He was asked: “Do you attend cabinet meetings?" he shot back at his host asking him: “How does that concern you? Have you heard that I missed any Cabinet meeting? I attend all the Cabinet meetings as the Deputy President.”
He also didn't give a decisive answer on whether he supports the Building Bridges Initiative to amend the constitution and introduce a third tier layer of governance.
“Wewe unajua mahali gani ya katiba inabadilishwa? Hiyo ripoti ya BBI wewe umesoma? Hiyo ni maoni yake mimi sijui [Do you know which section of the Constitution is being amended? Have you read that BBI report? That’s his opinion],” he responded.
But even with his mixed gesture, there are indications that the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy is on the rocks.
The two used to be buddies donning similar outfits at the beginning of their tenure in the presidency. But nearly seven years down the line, that relationship has been torn into pieces as they chart different paths. President Uhuru has since made ODM leader Raila Odinga his key ally and sidelined Dr Ruto.
The DP, on the other hand, has struck out alone and does not even use government aircraft.
At the height of coronavirus infections which forced the country into an economic lockdown, the DP received various delegations at his home in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu, and his Karen residence, Nairobi.
On Sunday, he visited Athi River ACK Church in Machakos County for a prayer service where he lashed at the civil servants whom he accused of engaging in politics.
“Of late we have heard senior government officers such as Cabinet Secretaries hurling insults at each other; this kind of behaviour will not help solve anything. As a government, we should be busy working to make sure our Big Four agenda is achieved,” he said.
That was meant for the cabinet secretaries that have joined the political mood, touring the country and inspecting projects.
At the centre of criticism are Uhuru-allied CSs, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i, and his counterparts Joe Mucheru (ICT), Mutahi Kagwe (Health) and Keriako Tobika (Forestry and Environment).
A number of them have not gone public with political ambitions but Mr Matiang’i has elicited debate with speculation that he could run for president.
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, who is allied to the DP Sunday blamed the President for failing to tame his Cabinet and letting them loose on his deputy.
“The president’s silence is the biggest undoing in his administration. His deputy is being insulted by State officers who are junior to him but the president is mum,” protested Ngunjiri.
“State officers are required by law to bring honour to the public offices they hold. Today they command no respect for the foul language they are using with negative energy directed towards Ruto.”
Mr Ngunjiri’s statement is preceding a recent outburst between Mr Tobiko and Elgeyo-Marakwek Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, where the two exchanged bitter words on Jubilee politics.
Tobiko, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, had attacked Murkomen accusing him of disrespecting the president and called the DP a clerk, attracting Murkomen's wrath.
Murkomen also went public last week decrying what he termed as mistreatment of the DP.
"They are using the messenger to communicate to Ruto that they no longer have any support for him. Had Ruto not joined Uhuru, President Kenyatta would not have won the election," he said.