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Stop threats and intimidation, Ruto tells his key rivals

By Saturday Standard Team | February 27th 2021

Deputy President William Ruto at Nandi Hills. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday claimed his political rivals have ganged up against him ahead of the 2022 presidential election and are using threats to cow him down.

Ruto also asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga to promote the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill devoid of political threats and intimidation.

Political formation

In an apparent reference to Thursday’s State House meeting where President Kenyatta and Raila met party leaders Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (Kanu), Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu (Narc), Ruto said the new political formation was meant to block him from 2022 succession.

“When they are planning for alliances in Nairobi, I am also reaching out to the people in grassroots because they are the ones mandated to elect who is supposed to take over the next government,” he said.

In a statement after the State House meeting, the leaders thanked MCAs for passing the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and noted that they had strategies for popularising the referendum push across the country.

Kilifi County yesterday became the 43rd county assembly to endorse the Amendment Bill, popularly known as BBI Bill.

Ruto, who attended a series of events in Nandi County, said he was ready for the battle against his rivals, claiming he has enough arsenal and credentials to catapult him to the top office.

Speaking in Kobujoi in Nandi County after he opened Kobujoi sub-County Hospital, Ruto said those using threats in the Constitution-making process do not respect the will of the people.

“Every Kenyan should be given an opportunity to decide. The writing of a Constitution must be devoid of intimidation and blackmail. We must respect one another,” he said.

The DP said there were politicians pushing him to oppose the BBI Bill but he was focused on 2022 presidential race and no amount of pressure will make him change course.

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He, however, noted that county assemblies had been cajoled, intimidated and coerced to pass the BBI Bill and regretted that the State had infringed on the rights of MCAs.

Ruto dismissed the BBI Bill as only meant to allow people share power and positions but he was interested in a contract on how to make the lives of Kenyans better so that they can engage in a bottom-up economy.

The DP’s address came a day after Jubilee Party vice-chair David Murathe said there is a plan to remove him (Deputy President) from office, and evict him from the Karen residence.

Speaking on Thursday evening on KTN News ‘Crossfire talk show, Murathe said the plans to kick the DP out would materialise very soon.

Yesterday, he sought to clarify his sentiments during the TV talk show, denying there were plans to evict the DP but instead an impeachment plan was on the cards.

“What eviction? We are taking about impeachment. If impeached, he has to leave the Hustler Mansion. That is why eviction is loading,” said Murathe.

Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju distanced himself from Murathe’s sentiments on Ruto’s eviction from Karen saying the DP had been duly elected and any plot to remove him from office will attract unnecessary attention from Parliament and the Judiciary.

Ruto has remained non-committal on whether he supports BBI or is against it and has instead said he will not be dragged into its campaigns.

In Nandi, Ruto maintained that he will continue fighting for common Kenyans and ensure that their plight is addressed.

The DP was accompanied by Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, legislators Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Vincent Tuwei (Mosop), Wilson Kogo (Chesumei), Corneli Serem (Aldai), Julius Meli (Tindiret), Caleb Kositany (Soy), senators Kiprotich Cherargei (Nandi) and Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a).

Senator Kang’ata and Mwashetani vowed to stand with Ruto in his presidential race despite the intimidation and threats from what they termed ‘deep State’.

[Report by Edwin Kosut, Jacob Ngétich and Roselyne Obala]

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