Ruto allies accuse leaders of tribalism over Limuru 3

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi, Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet and Speaker Moses Wetangula at Shibeye Primary School in Ikolomani. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

President William Ruto's allies have hit at Mt Kenya leaders who converged in Limuru on Friday, accusing them of playing tribal politics.

The leaders condemned the Limuru III conference that birthed the Haki Coalition as an ethnic outfit intended to divide Kenyans along tribal lines.

Speaking in two separate functions in Kakamega County, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi  who spoke at his aunt's funeral in Ikolomani constituency, and Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet who spoke in Malava constituency during a funds drive at Tombo Primary school, asked former President Uhuru Kenyatta to tone down on ethnic politics.

"If there was an election that went beyond ethnic and tribal lines it was the 2022 General Election. We saw a political configuration that had never been witnessed before. I appeal to the nation that let us not go back to tribal tendencies, let us try and not go back where we left, we left those dark days behind," he said.

Mudavadi urged leaders not to rely on ethnicity to propel them and achieve their selfish political goals.

"I appeal to Kenyans not to be deceived to go back to any ethnic engagement for the best of our destiny. We must be united. We must allow Kenyans to have their right and freedom to vote for a leader of their choice irrespective of ethnicity, religion or even gender bias," he said.

National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung'wah, his Senate counterpart Aron Cheruyoit, and Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri led a host of politicians in condemning the conference that has left Mt Kenya region politically divided.

They claimed Uhuru was using his community tag to make a comeback into the political sphere against the Constitution which bars retired presidents from taking active roles in politics. 

The Limuru 3 meeting, which was convened by NARC-Kenya leader Martha Karua and Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni, among others, unveiled the Haki Coalition and named Uhuru as its leader. 

"He (Uhuru) needs to emulate the late Mwai Kibaki. When he took over the presidency from Daniel Moi, people thought he would frustrate his predecessor. But this never happened. When he retired after serving his term, he kept a low profile and never came back to interfere with how Mr Kenyatta was running the country," said Kiunjuri.  

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said President Ruto is the unifying factor in the country and must be respected by all leaders.

"We want Kenyans to speak the language of unity irrespective of our ethnic backgrounds because we can only achieve development if we put tribal groupings behind us," he said, promising to lead the onslaught of leading Kakamega from the opposition into the government from 2027.

Malava MP Moses Malulu, who hosted the event, said the constituency was already reaping the benefits of belonging to the government.