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William Ruto: Why Uhuru excluded me from National Security Council meetings

Deputy President William Ruto. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta excluded him from the National Security Council meetings over his demand for answers over, among others, extra-judicial killings.

Opening up today about his 10-year tenure as DP during an interview with KTN, Ruto, who is also the Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate, alleged President Uhuru barred him from the council’s meetings three years ago after he demanded answers regarding what he termed as 'murderous schemes'.

Dismissing assertions by Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton that Kenya Kwanza was late in taking steps through its manifesto to address summary or arbitrary executions, DP Ruto said that his stand against the issue has come at a great personal cost.

The DP said that he took up the matter with National Intelligence Service Director General Philip Wachira Kameru on several occasions before the Major General allegedly severed ties with him over his stance on the issue.

“If you spoke to the Director of Intelligence, and I am saying this because someone is listening somewhere, I have raised it with him [Wachira] - when he would still pick my calls. I had serious concerns about what was happening in many parts of our country, including Moyale. I remember calling him one time and telling him it can’t have gotten here,” said DP Ruto.

“I raised issues concerning extrajudicial killings until there years ago the President excluded me from attending National Security Council meetings because I asked tough questions about schemes of murder. It is not something that I just woke up to today, it is something that has concerned me a lot.”

He added, “That is why I have put it in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto that extra-judicial killings must come to an end. It is illegal, unconstitutional and offends every principle of the right to life… I have not attended the security council meetings because of the questions that I asked.”

The second-in-command went on to admit that while he almost slapped the Presiden after the Head of State almost gave up on the 2017 presidential re-run, his arch-rivals Raila Odinga and Martha Karua could have not stood the kind of humiliation that he alleges to have faced.

“The kind of humiliation I have been subjected to by my boss, nobody could have taken it. If it was Raila Odinga or Martha Karua, they would have done drastic scenes already. I am a very patient person. The record is going to bear me witness that I resisted as much as I could to respond to my boss,” said Ruto.

“People say ‘William Ruto has insulted the President’. I have, in fact, had a discussion with him and asked him directly to produce one clip, either from the intelligence – whether it was at night or in a private meeting where I said something against you but he said it is not there because I am a very careful person,”

According to the DP, the President snubbed efforts by religious leaders to reconcile them ahead of the August 9 polls. “You know very well Cannon [Sammy Wainaina] that Bishops talk to me and the president. When they came back to me I told them I want to have a chat with my boss he [Uhuru] flatly refused,” said Ruto.

“Slapping the president speaks of a man who doesn’t want to antagonize,” pressed Sofia Wanuna.

“That is figurative speech, nobody can slap the president, surely. The President was almost giving up. ‘William, I don’t want to continue. I want to go to Ichaweri.’ I told him, my friend, you are not about to do anything silly like that,” said Ruto.

Adding: “That is what a genuine friend is all about; when a friend is about to give up you must be there to support, encourage and tell them not to make the wrong decision. If I was just another run-off-the-mill character, I would have told him 'yeah, let us just give up'. That would have been very foolish.”