Ruto cleared to run for top seat, say Raila backers after positions

Deputy President William Ruto signs documents during UDA’s National Elections Board’s interview at the Hustler centre, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto was yesterday given the green light by the United Democratic Alliance election board to run for presidency in August.

Two other two youthful candidates including 23-year-old university student Tracey Wanjiku King’ori and Orina  Jephnei Nyakwama , 29, were disqualified. The deputy president will now be presented to the National Delegates Convention (NDC) planned for Tuesday next week at Kasarani where he will be unveiled as the party’s flag bearer.

Speaking after going through the processes, Dr Ruto said he had presented himself as a presidential candidate after being invited for the interview.

“I have come here with all my documents including from institutions of higher learning, good conduct, testimonials, Higher Educations Loans Board (HELB) clearance and gone through the process and answered the questions,” said Ruto after the interview.

Interesting experience

He said the process was interesting because the National Election Board (NEB) asked right questions that he believed will make them get the right candidates not just for the party but for the people of Kenya.

“I am waiting. I guess they are going to mark my exams. I have pleaded with them to consider me favourably but I guess it will have to be an objective assessments of all the candidates that will present themselves and NEB will make a decision and communicate before or during the NDC on the way forward,” he added.

The ambitions of the two other aspirants were, however, cut short when UDA vice chair Kipruto Kirwa announced that they have been disqualified.

“We had three candidates with first one being William Samoei Ruto and the verdict is that he is the candidate we shall present at Kasarani on 15th for the NDC,” said Kirwa.

The NDC, he said will make the final resolution for purpose of forwarding Ruto’s name to the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission.

Kirwa said Wanjiku had passed all other requirements only that she had not completed university.

“This is because the legal requirement under the Constitution requires any presidential candidate to have a degree from a recognised university,” he said.

The Deputy President later took his campaigns to Meru County where he dismissed yesterday’s Azimio la Umoja delegates conference in Nairobi and took a swipe at the ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Ruto, while urging Kenyans to support him for the presidency, said those who were pushing Raila were out to create positions and power for themselves.

“Those leaders who are meeting in Nairobi are just planning on positions and power for themselves. We are telling them Kenyans want jobs for their children, businesses and economic development,” Ruto said.

The DP said his agenda was to provide funds for agriculture, housing and other programmes that will create jobs for Kenyans. In remarks interpreted to be directed at President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto and his allies also dismissed the countrywide crackdown on boda boda operators even as he asked Kenyans to resist those ‘imposing’ Raila on them.

Ruto, who was accompanied by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Meru senator Mithika Linturi and several MPs and other leaders in various towns in Meru, claimed there was a plot to harass boda boda operators, in the wake of a crackdown on the operators.

The DP who spoke at Maua, Kianjai and other areas in Meru said, boda bodas were being unfairly targeted yet the sector was like any other business.

“There are people who have hatched a plot to harass boda boda operators. It is just like any other business. Criminals who are hiding behind boda boda should be hunted down just like those who stole from KEMSA and arrested and prosecuted,” Ruto said.

He wondered: “Is it the boda boda operators who stole from KEMSA? They must be treated fairly, let us provide funds to boda boda to improve their business. They are earning Sh1b daily and feed 1.4m families.”

“There are only four months left. You will not be harassed again. We will allocate Sh50b for boda boda, mama mbogas and other small businesses. Kenya is for all Kenyans, not just for the rich. Little time is left for them. Do not worry, when they leave we will allocate a (business) kitty in our bottom up programme,” said the DP.

Ruto claimed there was a plot to intimidate many citizens and leaders and blackmail them, saying they will remain steadfast.

He said: “They are trying to intimidate us with DCI, KRA, Deep State and system. But we want to tell them that the citizens will not be cowed,” he said.

At Kianjai, the DP said in 2013 he, stood with President Uhuru and Kenyans and joined hands to form the Government and deliver projects.

The DP who was accompanied by area leaders asked voters to elect UDA candidates including Linturi as governor, South Imenti MP as senator and Halima Mucheke as Imenti North MP.

Mudavadi said in his previous visit to Meru, he realised the county was a Ruto stronghold and was surprised when governor Kiraitu Murungi joined Raila.

“I do not know what took him to Azimio, he should be asked that question,” he said.

He said as Kenya Kwanza leaders they were sure of victory and dismissed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya who had also joined Azimio.

Mudavadi wondered how Munya and others expected to gain in the next government yet it was not assured they would win.

“How can somebody who is retiring guarantee you a job in somebody else’s government?” Mudavadi asked.