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Raila, Ruto divisions shouldn't deceive you, they're the same- Lee Njiru

Former President Daniel Arap Moi’s press secretary Lee Njiru. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Former President Daniel Moi’s press secretary Lee Njiru has urged Kenyans to embrace peace despite their different political affiliations as the country edges closer to the August 9 polls.

Njiru, in an interview on Citizen Television on Wednesday night, said that all politicians are alike, with the same mannerisms, and could turn against the people at any time.

He was responding to a question on the frosty relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

“There is no difference between Ruto, Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo, and Mudavadi. All those people are political cousins, they can turn against you…They are one clan,” Njiru said.

He likened political relationships in Kenya to a hunt, with politicians being the predators and the citizenry-the prey.

“Before Mzee died, he told me, when you go hunting with your dog, remember one thing. Your dog and the prey are cousins; they can turn against you.”

He narrated incidents where Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta and his successor Daniel arap Moi couldn’t see eye-to-eye, but would later strike rapprochement.

“When Moi was the leader of the opposition, he would attack Mzee Kenyatta often. He [Kenyatta] called Moi and told him, we are both politicians. Come and let us greet each other and get land for our people in Rift Valley. Moi went on to become Kenya’s president after Kenyatta,” said Njiru.

It would be akin to déjà vu when Moi (the then-president) shook hands with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and made him Kanu Secretary-General.

The same unity call would play out during the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

“President Uhuru shook hands and made peace with Raila. They now call each other brothers. Kalonzo once said he would be ‘foolish’ to join hands with Odinga again, but look where he is now,” Njiru said.

Now an author of the President's Pressman: A memoir by Lee Njiru, the former press secretary further said that Kenyans must get used to the DP, adding that he was going nowhere.

“It is Kenyans who must wake up. When you go to vote, it is not a matter of life and death, rather, vote peacefully. These politicians will not starve.”