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DP Ruto: Airport drama meant to frustrate me

POLITICS
By Allan Mungai | August 5th 2021

DP William Ruto with President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe, Uganda. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday sought to clear the air on the Monday travel fiasco, where he was blocked from flying to Uganda.

But while he was reluctant to talk about the ‘shenanigans’ that had him stranded at Wilson Airport for five hours, he was puzzled and asked as many questions as the interviewer on Inooro TV morning show.

“What wrong have I done, why is it always me?” He posed, as much to himself as the audience.

He cut the image of a frustrated man, longing for an end to the misery. “I have been pushed aside. There are many things that I don’t want to mention. What happened at Wilson Airport was an attempt to belittle and show me that I am not important and that there are more powerful people,” he said.

Ruto termed the incident a continuation of his woes in a government he played a key to secure its victory.

The DP lamented about the scrutiny of his private life and the people he interacted with, “that was my private business, should I be announcing to the public every time I go on my private things?”

Then, absolving himself of any misstep, he suggested President Uhuru Kenyatta was aware of his planned trip to Uganda.

“I am not a stupid person to leave without knowing what is supposed to be done. I have done this for nine years, how can someone come at the last minute to tell me that they have received a phone call stating the requirements I need to travel?” he posed.

Deputy President William Ruto in Karen, June 24, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

But Ruto would not blame President Kenyatta for his woes, putting it all down to power-play and sleazy officials who want to incite Uhuru against him.

“For four years, people have been trying to put words in my mouth, accusing me of competing and fighting with and disrespecting the president and I have refused to fall for that. Even blocking me from flying was another attempt to try and get me to quarrel,” he said.

The DP explained his relationship with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, discounting the suggestion that the motive behind their meeting was political.

He said Museveni was also a friend of President Kenyatta and former NASA principals, who have all been to Uganda to campaign for the Ugandan leader.

“Is it fair that Museveni can be friends with all these other gentlemen but it becomes an issue when it is me? Why? I’m I not entitled to friends?” he posed.

He revealed that he was going to Uganda to benchmark on making Kenya food secure using their business model.

“Part of the reason I wanted to go to Uganda was to look at this wealth fund which has helped farmers buy quality dairy cows, seeds and fertiliser and learn how it works because I have started a big discussion called bottom-up,” he said.

But the elephant in the room was the identity of the Turkish man in Ruto’s entourage.

The DP said he was an investor and was disappointed with the manner in which he was treated “because of petty politics.”

“I don’t know what to call it, stupidity or ignorance. When they see someone with me they jump to conclusions and think up ways to tarnish people’s reputations,” he said.

“What do you think that investor thinks now?” Ruto posed. “We are destroying investments in our country and embarrassing ourselves because of our foolishness.”

Deputy President William Ruto. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The interview exposed Ruto’s unease in government which he has made no secret, particularly the inclusion of ODM leader Raila Odinga.

He accused Raila of derailing the government’s development agenda with the push to amend the Constitution.

He said he was being punished for insisting the government honours pledges to voters.

“It got to a point and I was told that my duties as deputy president would be handled by (Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred) Matiang’i and others. I accepted because I respect my boss. He is the president and if he makes a decision that is it,” said Ruto.

Ruto insisted that he can only be held accountable for the first five years of Jubilee regime.

“Unless you are a foreigner in Kenya, you know that I was told to stay away and let others help the president, including NASA which sabotaged our plans,” he said. “I can account for the first five years as DP.”

Ruto does not want his time as DP to be used as a yardstick when he vies for president next year.

He said the death of Jubilee is imminent. “By next year, all those who were in Jubilee Party will be in UDA, especially if they are going to sell Jubilee to ODM,” he said.

He said he has a message that Kenyans can resonate with; focusing on the low-income earners.

Ruto to hold Hustler Nation parliamentary group meeting
Members of Parliament allied to the DP and the United Democratic Alliance party (UDA) are expected to attend the meeting.
Come clean on Museveni links, ODM leaders tell deputy president
DM lawmakers asked Ruto to “come clean” on his relations to Uganda’s ruling party, NRM.
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