DP Ruto says he’s been interested in the presidency on 3 occasions

DP William Ruto addresses UDA delegates at the Kasarani Indoor Arena on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto says his 2022 presidential bid marks the third time he is expressing interest in the top seat.

The other times were 2007 and 2013.

Dr Ruto made the revelation today when he accepted to fly UDA’s flag in the August 9 presidential election. At least 4,350 delegates endorsed his presidential bid, paving way for the deputy president to pick his running-mate.

In the previous two attempts, Ruto said, he shelved his ambition after Raila Odinga and President Kenyatta won the delegates’ approval in 2007 and 2013 respectively.

“My first bid for a party’s nomination to contest the presidency was in 2007,” he said during his address at the Moi International Sports Complex, Kasarani, where UDA held its National Delegates Conference.

“I did not win [in the 2007 attempt]; I conceded defeat, and went all out to support the party and its candidate then (Raila Odinga). I believe we made a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“My second bid for the presidential nomination was in 2013. This was, again, deferred as my party resolved to merge with another party. In the interest of coalition-building and broader strategic interests, I deferred my bid, and once again gave my all in delivering the presidency and a wholesome presidential majority.

“I know, without any shadow of a doubt, that the time has come [for me] to represent the hustler nation; the time has come to go all the way to the finish line, and secure the place of the hustler nation at the decision-making table.

“I am ready, I will do everything, and my best for that matter. Most of all, I am determined to give you a campaign you will be proud of and to win for our party, our coalition and for the People of Kenya.

“Let word reach our friends and our rivals that we are prepared and are inspired to do all we can, to go to every place and to work with everyone to open the doors of inclusion, opportunity and enterprise in order to move Kenya to the higher level.

“I will forever remain profusely thankful to my friend President Uhuru Kenyatta for a successful working partnership in three elections. I have discharged my duties faithfully, and there is no single task that the president assigned me that I did not execute in full,” he said.

Ruto, however, said that after President Kenyatta won re-election, he asked him (Ruto) to stay away as the Head of State charted his own legacy path.

The DP, in his acceptance speech, further accused the president of witch-hunt and intimidation, especially after the Jubilee administration won a second term.

Dr Ruto also said if he is elected president, he will end politicians’ conflict of interest and corruption disguised as economic and political programmes.

The deputy president pledged to combat corruption, revamp the agriculture sector, create jobs for the youth and empower the Judiciary.

“We have to make our choices carefully on August 9. What will be on the ballot then, will be based on these two possible outcomes: either Kenya moves forward into prosperity or Kenya regresses into tyranny and poverty,” he said.